Gleaming the Verb

by Kevin Jackson-Mead profile

Wordplay
2009

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Number of Reviews: 4
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Not IF, but not terrible, December 7, 2009
by TempestDash (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Gleaming The Verb does away with any pretense of a story and, honestly, almost every IF convention along with it. You can still examine things (if I recall correctly) but beyond that, every other action (or ‘verb’) you enter at the command line is offered as a potential solution to the puzzle before you. So there is no exploration, no interaction with any objects other than the puzzle before you, and no story beyond the fact that you are trapped in a featureless room with a floating, glowing cube.

At this point, one might wonder why this person even used Interactive Fiction as the basis for the game when it could easily have been done with forms in a webpage or even a Quizilla. Well, the only reason I can think of (being the jaded person I am) is that if they used a webpage or Quizilla they couldn’t have entered it into this year’s IFComp. So... I’m left thinking this person just wanted a greater audience for their work and picked IFComp to do it.

This is a shame, because, if anything, having it presented on the surface as an IF-game only forces it to be judged on measures it shouldn’t be judged on. I wouldn’t normally open a puzzle book looking for a story or an interactive experience, and their absence here meaninglessly detracts from what is not a terrible string of word games.

Yes, it’s short, and yes, the game suffers from it’s implementation (Spoiler - click to show) – presumably the puzzle ‘cube’ in the game requires the avatar to physically manipulate it in some way that solves the riddles present, which was fine by me until I was asked to TITRATE the cube, which is simply absurd – but otherwise, I wouldn’t have thought there was anything wrong with seeing these five puzzles presented on a page for me to solve.

So, I guess, my recommendation is to go into this game with your expectations properly set and you could get a good 10 minutes or so of enjoyment out of it.


Comments on this review

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Andrew Schultz, September 29, 2013 - Reply
I agree--(Spoiler - click to show)"titrate" is a bit obscure a bit early but the idea is really need. I tend to just like this sort of thing, and I think others who do will too.

But I can see why people who want a story would be disappointed. It's tough to blend the two.
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