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About the Story
Humans are constantly appropriating rat culture. King Roscoe thought to use this to his advantage.
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Number of Reviews: 6
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You're a talking rat on a secret mission so secret that you aren't sure what it is. Well, the rat know, but you the player do not. First order of business is to enter the human museum looming before you and to figure out what's going on.
The start seems to lack urgency or a clear hook: you're a rat in front of a museum. It's my only criticism of this otherwise excellent piece, full of rich detail and little flourishes. Despite the cold open, the rest of the work is engaging and compelling, and shines brightest in the little moments. Examine a painting and receive a mini-meditation on the differences between rat and human culture. It's world-building, but it's seamlessly interwoven with the character and sounds like an authentic internal monologue.
Typical of Veeder's work, this piece has a strong sense of place and location to match the strong character voice; the layout feels like museums I've been in, and felt real and well-described with only a few rooms.
There is an awful lot of STUFF in this piece, nearly all of it without mechanical utility, but examining it deepens the themes and brings the entire work to life. I loved just poking about the rubbish, not knowing if I'd find anything of utility, and getting a small window into the head of the protagonist. As is also typical of Veeder, this lets him occasionally break the fourth wall, making it clear that even though we may not know much about the secret mission, the protagonist certainly does.
Near the end, a mini-combat game appears, a well hinted and mechanically sound diversion that further enriches the entire experience.
It's a short work, taking about 15 minutes to explore, and the brevity is another strength, working well with the theme and focus of the rat's quest.
I highly recommend this strong, short, piece, which works despite the lack of a strong or clear hook. Lack of an opening hook is fairly common in Interactive Fiction, where readers are expected to find their own route in, and it only really stands out in this piece because it otherwise feels very welcoming to new players, with helpful guidance in a pane on the right-hand side, and a tightly-defined scope. I feel like the best IF for first-time readers has a strong hook and sense of initial urgency, but I'd still encourage you to play this despite that lack.
I'm going to make it clear from the start: I generally struggle when it comes to playing long works of IF. This is because I'm usually too busy to be able to devote a lot of time to a game.
The trouble is that often short games are less polished and less well implemented, putting me thus in a puzzling dilemma.
That's why I'm always pleasantly gratified whenever a topnotch short text-based game is released. Such as this one!
"The Roscovian Palladium" may not be a challenging game, but it made up for all that by being entertaining, witty and smoothly implemented. The ending is surprisingly satirical and is as rewarding as the punchline of a good joke.
The rat world and narrative voice of the descriptions was a lot of fun. The game was pretty short, though, and it had a lot of space that didn't really have any significance to the plot; it definitely left me wanting more.
I thought the combat mechanic was interesting and fun; it'd work well in a larger game with more variety of weapons and opponents, which would have room for using it as part of larger puzzles or other second-level usage.
I also though the ending was pretty cute.
The Lurking Horror II: The Lurkening, by Ryan Veeder
Average member rating: (20 ratings)
An unauthorized sequel to the Infocom classic, written for the 2018 MIT Mystery Hunt.
|I Didn't Really Like It Before, by Drusilla|
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
It's an experience I had the other day. Bees, winter, brevity.
|vanitas, by sweetfish|
Average member rating: (7 ratings)
VANITAS Conversations about being online, in 495 words. Written in an hour for Neo-Twiny Jam and coded in Twine for a lot longer. Warning for very brief sexual language. Click, tap, or press space/return to advance text.
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible NPCs of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best NPCs in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. The category will still be text-entry, and games not mentioned here will...
PC's personality integrated with the story by JasonMel
I would like to be able to recommend to someone many examples of interactive fiction in which the player character is far from a cipher or an everyman or everywoman, but is instead a character with a definite personality within a game...