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About the StoryYour quest: infiltrate Castle Hallowmoor, find the potion, and make it out alive. This is a Halloween-themed adventure -- hypertext interactive fiction playable in most modern web browsers.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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It avoids the usual problem with links in IF -- that it doesn't require much thought to mindlessly click your way through the story -- admirably: there simply are far more links than what really matters. Most of them are just scenery bits that help with characterization and setting, but are not essential to get through.
Hallowmoor is Halloween-themed and features a spirit protagonist trying to get back to the land of the living. You learn of a dark potion that should grant this wish if only drank in a particular date, which just happens to coincide with a battle between the skeleton army and the sisterhood of witches. You initially inhabit one of the skeletons thanks to the Specter Shift skill and it's up to you to go in and explore Hallowmoor Castle, the HQ's of the witches.
This is a honest interactive fiction, not some barely interactive experiment in reader depreciation or poetry. It proves that Twine is no excuse for plain hypertext.
The game has 2-3 times the usual amount of links, with many of them descriptions only, so it is harder to cheat by clicking everything. There is an inventory button allowing you to dynamically use items throughout the game.
It took me about an hour, with some rather tricky pieces. Recommended for everyone.
The puzzles are the high point of the game: there were several times when I let out an impressed "really?" upon trying some combination and finding that it was indeed implemented. The central conceit for many of the puzzles may not be completely unique, but is rare in IF, and particularly unexpected in a choice-based game. (Spoiler - click to show)You need to switch between two host bodies with different abilities and weaknesses. However, their paths may not cross, or the unpossessed one will kill the possessed one on sight. There are of course also other puzzles, involving the use of inventory items. In some ways, it reminded me of the old graphical adventure Shadowgate.
So in terms of implementation and puzzle inventiveness: full marks. Unfortunately, the story and writing don't quite live up to the technical fireworks on display. While the plot is reasonably original (you are a ghost searching for the potion that will restore you to bodily life), the setting is extremely generic fantasy standard: armies of skeletons, witches with gnarled hands, dungeon cells. I admit to a soft spot for old-school fantasy settings in games, but I never warmed to this setting: some rooms did give a satisfyingly edgy feeling of infiltrating a dark castle full of enemies, but for the most part, the world felt gross and filthy rather than frightening.
As for the writing, it's perfectly fine and does a good job laying out the rooms without making them too overwhelming for puzzle-solving; however, no passages really stand out. It's serviceable, rather than exquisite. (Also, I caught an annoying misspelling: "ode de" should be "eau de".)
The Twine format is good, and the colour scheme fits well with the theme.
Deserves to become a classic.
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Recommended ListsHallowmoor appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Great Twine/Choice games for those skeptical of the format by MathBrush
I didn't like Twine at first, but slowly I've changed my opinion about it, until now, many of my favorite games are Twine/Choice games (including Varytale or choice-style parser games). These games tend to be very different genres from...
IF Playlist for the Brontoboards by Molly
This is a list I created as a general guide to interactive fiction for a thread I'm making on Brontoforumus. I'm trying to give a good overview to both parser IF (usually called "text adventures") and choice-based IF (or...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Hallowmoor:
Child-friendly CYOA (or other interface that's not traditional parser) by blue/green
Most of the games I see on the "appropriate for children" lists are pure parser IF. Are there kid friendly games that have a more accessible interface? CYOA, hyperlink, hybrid parser--any interface that offers some help in figuring out...
Mise-en-abīme by Sobol
Mise-en-abīme is a technique of having a play within a play, a painting within a painting, etc. Let's list those interactive stories where the characters play interactive stories.
I Am You: Games involving possession of another character by Spike
Three games I've played in the past couple of months have featured the PC's ability to possess other characters as a primary or secondary game mechanic. What other IF works feature this possession mechanic?
This is version 16 of this page, edited by Merk on 13 November 2013 at 10:53pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item