Basic Train-ing

by bpsp


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Number of Reviews: 2
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Untapped potential, February 19, 2011

Oh, the potential this game has… it's almost painful to think about it. I love the story idea. It's got a Twilight Zone feel that makes me think of old classic short stories by Ray Bradbury and the like. That's not to say it's science fiction, but just that it's a circumstance in which there's more than meets the eye.

The PC awakes at the beginning of the game to find himself on a train, with no knowledge of how he got there. He's in military uniform, and is accompanied by two strange and silent companions. Assuming he must have been captured by the enemy, his one mission is to find a way to get off this train. But things are not as they seem.

This story has a very clever and interesting twist. The problem for me was, I had figured it out that twist after about 15 moves. Perhaps if there had been a bit less detail provided early on, it might have carried me along & motivated me to continue, but this was not the case. So, here I was, armed with the information that would have been much more exciting to discover at the END of the game, but I was still at the beginning and hadn't yet solved a single puzzle.

Not only that, but, as expressed by other reviewers of this game, the implementation is very aggravating! Here's just one example: When you give the command, "GO NORTH," the game says, "You must supply a noun." If you say "WALK," it says, "You must supply a compass direction." But if you tell it to, "WALK NORTH" it says "You must supply a noun." ARRRGGHHHH!! It tells you in the room description that there are front and rear doors. But when you say, "EXAMINE REAR DOOR," it tells you, "You can't see any such thing." And so on…

So, to sum it up, here I am armed with knowledge of the big surprise ending, but faced with a frustrating "read the author's mind" journey ahead of me and very little motivation to complete it. Very disappointing. I would love to see this game completely re-vamped with better implementation and a more mysterious storyline.

In spite of my complaints, I'd still recommend this game to anyone, if only for the great concept behind it. Give it a try and see what you think.