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Just Shy of Glory, September 2, 2011
Growing Up, in its understated pathos, is a game that could have been great. It still could be, if the author wanted to go back and do a few rounds of polishing. What sinks it is the usual IF maladies: lack of grammar and lack of implementation. The lack of object/scenery implementation isn't so bad due to the way that time advances in the game, but just a little bit more would have made all the difference.
The descriptions here are just enough to whet your appetite, and they are delivered from an unusual perspective; the tone is wryly humorous spiced with a bit of timeless sorrow. Thankfully, no profanities, porn, or gore screw it up.
Growing Up has been tagged with multiple endings, but I can't get the full 70 points (50 is my record), and that's after dying at least 20 times. Perhaps they are there; perhaps not.
The only thing that leaves me unsettled about the game -- and perhaps we're supposed to feel this way -- is the things that you can't do. Without giving away too much, times where you want to help one of the other characters abound, and yet, we're unable to help. Some of this is the fault of the underimplemented parser, and that's the part of the game that really needs work. You will be guessing the verb a bit, even if it's in vain.
Anyhow, I'd love to give this game four (or maybe five) stars because it held so much promise, but the parser keeps it out of that territory. It's worth playing at least five times, though, despite its shortcomings.