Cold As Death

by Gorm

2010

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Strange, not completely successful experiment in realtime IF, July 31, 2010

This is an oddity -- not made with any of the standard systems, and entered in an experimental gameplay competition that asks how much a player can do in 10 seconds. The author of Cold As Death doubled that limit, but the player is required to do a warming-up action (running, jumping in place) every 20 seconds, or else freeze to death and lose the game.

That mechanic might just conceivably have worked out under the right circumstances -- perhaps with very stripped prose and easy-to-grok puzzles. Cold As Death makes some of the necessary concessions, for instance by sticking to a very small list of actions, so that there are only so many things you could possibly try to do at a given time.

Unfortunately, the environment is fairly surreal and sensible actions are badly hinted. To make matters worse, the anxiety about keeping warm keeps the player from having time to read the text in a leisurely way. The parser is extremely finicky, too: you must type every object name in full, including the adjective and noun in the order given, or the object will not be recognized. I did eventually win, after several tries, and it was gratifying in an odd way, but I can't claim it was a great IF experience.

Still, it's interesting that someone tried something like this.