Opening Night

by David Batterham


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Number of Reviews: 4
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1-4 of 4

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Short, dreamlike parser game set entirely in one location, September 21, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)

[Time to completion: 45 minutes-1 hour]

This is a short, surreal parser game which opens in front of a theatre on its opening night. You are here to see the actress Miranda Lily, but you're not well-dressed enough.

I underestimated this game at first, taking it for your usual puzzle game. The puzzles, though, used a bit of adventure game logic: (Spoiler - click to show)searching through a dumpster after attending a concert seems a bit off to me.

Opening Night is much more than the puzzles: it's almost dreamlike, and the single setting - the theatre - changes as you progress, reflecting the player's knowledge. The PC's identity also changes as you go through the game, ultimately revealing them to be (Spoiler - click to show)an unreliable narrator. The final reveal of their identity was not exactly unexpected, but was still satisfying.

Worth a whirl, it's not too long.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A delightful early 1900s game with some surprises up its sleeves, February 4, 2016

This game surprised me with its emotional effect, because it has a slow burn opening. You are a huge fan of theatre actress Mirada Lily, and have come on the opening night of her big show to give her a rose.

This game is relatively short and easy. I wasn't sure what to do with one item, but you just use everything.

Your main goal is to get into the theatre, as you are not dressed well enough to be allowed in.

Strongly recommended.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent, August 24, 2009

Opening Night starts out seeming like your average puzzle game (albeit with excellent prose). Your goal is to give a rose to Miranda Lily, star of the stage - your problem is getting past that obnoxious doorman. A couple simple puzzles take you past this problem, and then the game really begins to shine.
There are more puzzles, but the focus of the game really is on the story, as the author says in the "about" section.
I found the interweaving of memory and present startling and surreal, and the pacing is excellent. I gradually began to put the pieces together, painting a haunting picture, and the final revalation brings everything together in a sad and satisfying way.
There are no in-game hints, but they aren't really necessary. While I often look at hints at least once during a game, I never needed to during Opening Night.
The game is rather linear, but this never presented a problem, and perhaps actually enhanced the story to a degree (think Photopia). Overall an excellent, very satisfying, very polished work.

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Captivates the mind and the heart, July 27, 2009
by Dark-Star (Nebraska)

Beginning and ending with a man on a mission, Opening Night is a brief but captivating journey through the mind of a person trying to tie up a nagging loose end in his life while he is still able.

The story begins with the protagonist outside a theatre on the opening night of a play starring his love, Miranda Lily, hoping to grace her presence long enough to give the gift of a single rose. Unfortunately, his dilapidated apparel firmly bars him from gaining entrance and some ingenuity will be required to solve the problem.

So far, so average. But once the curtain goes up on Mz. is then that the genius and literary prose of the game begin to shine. Revealing neither too much nor too little at once as the storyline progresses, the author draws you into the mind of an embittered man whose story may well strike a chord within yourself. As the last act of the game begins, one almost wishes to reach into the screen and put an arm around the individual who has been your eyes and ears for the duration.

The long and short of it: David Batterham has pulled off a five-star literary masterpiece. I not only give a standing ovation to Opening Night, but call for an encore as well. Superb!

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