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Emily Short’s Interactive Fiction Page
I think, of the games, this is the most successfully game-like. It also has some striking moments. I liked the Dreaming. I really liked the drawing-in-the-air. Some gorgeously surreal moments, a feature which this game shares with Dreams Run Solid, appropriately enough. This one is, I think, a trifle more cohesive, although (or perhaps because) it has fewer moments that stand on the knife-edge between beautiful and repellent.
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TelegramComp Games review
Constraints answers the challenge of the comp by piling on nearly every strategy known to mankind. Where Dreams uses a surreal setting, Constraints uses four different settings, three of which allow "strange" actions: a world of magical realism, surreal dreamworld, the "real" world, and a fantasy world. The use of multiple disparate sections is itself a strategy for combining the multitude of actions found in the transcript. (Sean Barrett)
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Walkthrough comp was a competition that had a bizarre 'walkthrough' posited to have been sent by telegram, and each game had to be designed to make the walkthrough make sense.
This game is very rich and complex-seeming, starting with a bizarre meeting with an occult man deep underground. It moves on to magical painting abilities and a sexually harassing duck.
It interprets the walkthrough in very creative ways, making parsing the walkthrough the hardest part.
The walkthrough itself is here:
HERE IS WALKTHROUGH YOU REQUESTED STOP YOU WILL SEE WHAT TO DO STOP THINK STOP X UPHOLSTER SEAT ZRBLM TAKE ALL N LISTEN FOLKS DRAW SWORD WAVE FAN DANCE ABOUT PAINT FENCE TAKE NEXT TURN SMOOTH DUCK DOWN ANESTHETI I EAT IT UNLOCK DOOR SWITCH PLOVER EGG STAND ON EAST SWING KNIFE LION PRAY GET MOUSE Z NW WAKE FISH SWIM DRINK DRINK READ LOOK UP DRESS BOOK SHIP PACKAGE PRESENT BOWL DROP TOY SLEEP PLAY STRING PICK POLISH APPLE EYE MIRROR POSE UNDO TRIM CORSET PUT GREY ON BLUE STAKE LIGHT FIRE HELP MAN STATION STOP WATCH XYZZY
The one command I didn't understand was 'put grey on', possibly because I dallied around too much in one scene.
As a narrative, it's disjointed; as a game itself, far too complex; but as a walkthrough comp entry, it's fantastic.