The Roscovian Palladium

by Ryan Veeder profile


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Number of Reviews: 6
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1-6 of 6

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short with good worldbuilding, September 30, 2017

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.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A game about a tiny rat in a big world, with creepy museum things, July 22, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This review is part of the Official Ryan Veeder Weekend Review Exposium with Guaranteed Prize.

For some reason, when I saw this game, I didn't want to play it. Then many people reviewed it, and I still didn't want to play it. It seemed like it would be confusing with a lot of red herrings.

Then I tried it, and stopped, because I am overwhelmed by red herrings and use walkthroughs on every game.

Then I had to write a review for this exposium, and I played it. The writing is great. Unplugging the router was a joy in itself, despite its lack of gameplay effect. The juxtaposition of the wooden caterpillar with the other objects in its room frightened me (I think I thought it was on the bed?).

The combat was satisfying once I worked it out, and conversation was surprisingly good.

This is a good game, but it stressed me out due to my gaming style.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short but fun and flavourful, March 13, 2017
by mattlaschneider
Related reviews: humour, rats, short, easy, fun

This instalment in what I can only call Veeder's Rat Cycle is a short and fun game, one that players new to IF will be able to complete with relative ease, but that will also reward players of all skill levels with Veeder's typical sense of humour. The players tasks are fairly clear, although the reasons for them remain fairly obscure until fairly late in the game when the player character's motivations are made clear.

While the game is simple and can be completed in 15 minutes or so, players are rewarded for exploring the various nooks of the game (both on the map and in the conversations), and players who take the time to feel out all their options will be rewarded with interesting descriptions of art and snappy dialogue.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Rats! No, the good kind: another delightful trip to Veeder's rat world, February 27, 2017
by streever (America)

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.

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Fun little text adventure, February 27, 2017

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.

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Disappointing in its brevity, February 27, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)

I was disappointed that this game was so short. Most of the objects and space are not interactive or usable. In fact it could have been a one-room game and been pretty much the same. At first I was enchanted by all of the rooms and exhibits to explore. But alas, these are for naught.

The most notable thing about this game is the combat system, which was easy to use but didn't add much to the game for me. If you are familiar with Veeder's other rat games you will want to play this as a light snack, but don't expect an epic.

Obviously this game was intended to be short and simple, so in that sense it delivers. There are no bugs and everything was fully implemented. The most redeeming feature was the point of view of the rat when examining our (human) culture. The game is peppered with little bits of typical Veeder wit and humor.

I wish that this game had been drawn out into a real puzzler explore-fest like some of the longer Veeder games. The setting and characters have a lot of potential. I would love to play a longer version of this game if the author chooses to develop it.

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