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About the Story
Aliens are invading earth with flying cups and flying saucers! And you have only 7 moves to make before the end. Can you save the world in time?
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: February 12, 2015
Current Version: 1
Development System: Twine
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
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Number of Reviews: 3
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So, you have 7 moves to thwart an apocalypse. That's not much time, not enough to leave the building you are in. You explore the building for a very short while, learn something about the game world, then you die, and start anew; it resembles, for example, Rematch.
But, unlike Rematch, which is a parser game, Save the World in 7 Moves is choice-based. Therefore, you don't have to invent some complex and unobvious actions in order to win - all the options are explicitly given to you, and at first it seems that you can solve the puzzle by simple "lawnmowering": just go everywhere and try all the links - sooner or later you'll find the winning one, right?
Wrong. This game experiments with the choice-based format, uses a few rather unusual ways to conceal information from the player and makes you do things you rarely need to do in a Twine game.
Also, it's funny, light-hearted and somewhat absurdist.
I'd recommend (Spoiler - click to show)listening to The Song right after you finish playing.
My interest for Save the World in 7 Moves was piqued after I read Sobol's review, which described it as a Rematch-style replay puzzle that manages to fit a vast amount of puzzle-solving into the Twine format. That is indeed true. The puzzles are the high point of the game: some challenging, some not particularly logical (as befits the surrealism of the plot), but I stuck it out and felt that the game rewarded my persistence. I'm particularly impressed with (Spoiler - click to show)the Emporium puzzle. I'd quite like to know the code that went into that.
Everything else? The plot is minimal and not very original. The solution to the problem is, again, not massively original, but at least it contains one or two twists rather than being a straightforward journey from point A to point B. The writing, while not bad, is somewhat ungrammatical: I can't tell whether the author is going for a Porpentine-style expressionism or simply isn't a native English-speaker, but that in itself is a bit damning. That said, some descriptions are atmospheric, and even the clunky grammar becomes background noise due to the many replays you're going to go through. There is plenty of satire of office life: it's amusing enough (stick it out through the meeting-room presentation at least once), but this is extremely well-trodden ground in IF, and this game doesn't add anything much.
While the puzzles are the high point of the game, towards the end I found myself lawn-mowering through the locations trying to find something I hadn't tried, and it ended up feeling like busy-work. Also, quite a chunk of the game is spent on a red herring (though it does point you in the direction of the correct solution).
EDIT: Removed a complaint that turned out to be due to my own misreading.
I hesitated whether to give this a 3 or a 4. Picture 3.5 stars if you will. The plot, writing and setting are nothing particularly memorable, but the puzzles really are good enough to make up for it. Play it for the puzzles. I'm glad I did.
PS. Was that a Stanley Parable reference?
This is a rinse-and-repeat type Twine game, where you have exactly 7 clicks to try and save the world.
After seven attempts, you die. However, the game remembers your past, and you can carry information from session to session, such as passwords.
I found the game enjoyable but not gripping.
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