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About the Story
Manhattan, May, 1954.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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As the author says, this is a lunchtime game. Easy and brief: just some 15 minutes to reach the end (though it doesn't really *end*, cause 4 more episodes are coming - supposedly).
Manhattan, 1954. A dog starts pestering both you than an unknown girl. The matter is: that dog is not much doggy-like. As the cover art suggests, it seems that your turn to deal with aliens has arrived.
Judging from this first chapter, the story is nice and humorous, though somehow plain, and ends with an opening for more interesting episodes (and also for new peaks of chauvinism to come: that's fairly due to the chauvinist decade where this game is set, though I personally disliked that - but maybe a feminist revenge is ready to strike). Being a lunchtime game, the author doesn't want to cause you any stress: only a couple of very easy puzzles (imagine otherwise: you get frustrated by your precious lunchtime gaming, you go back to work, and all you want to do is to kick your colleagues/friends/anybody, just to see if they too are wearing a V.I.T.A.T.T.O.* armor). The drawback is that you really don't feel much involved: this looks too much as a linear tale where, at a certain point, you have to solve something to go on (and maybe it would indeed work better as a regular tale, without any interaction inside).
Anyway, as a lunchtime game this is nice. And the light and well crafted tone will surely cause many a satisfied smile.
*Violence Isn't The Answer To This One
The quality of this game was top-notch, as one expects from Emily Short. I was stuck in the first prompt long enough to lose the first time I tried playing the game. I am not new to interactive fiction, but I must admit I've never been good at guessing the verbs and nouns I'm supposed to use in novel situations. I used the built-in help, but it was too generic to help me at the first prompt.
After I restarted, I determined to take my time and really think about what I was supposed to do and got past the first puzzle. That experience was longer than the 15 minutes the game was supposed to take. The rest of the game was pretty easy for me.
So 5-star quality, minus 1 star for what for me were inadequate hints for how to act at the first prompt, minus 1 star for not being a bit longer, perhaps (Spoiler - click to show)adding another round or two of the pick the creature's home-world game.
This game was the first in a planned series of five small games that were intended to be a gentle introduction to If.
The writing and pacing are excellent, with smooth scene changes.
It took me a while to understand the core mechanic of the first scene, but once I figured it out the rest of the game went smoothly.
The game is a sort of a mix between early 1900's-1950's American culture and a sort of gentlemanly version of the MIB.
The game was enjoyable overall.
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This is version 15 of this page, edited by Shin on 17 December 2020 at 5:06am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item