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About the Story
When the seventh day comes and it is time for you to return to the castle in the forest, your sisters cling to your sleeves.
Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2006 XYZZY Awards
Alloys and Allies
Bronze is no masterpiece, but it is a well-crafted, fun, and satisfying game. I recommend it not only to people wishing to learn Inform 7 but to all fans of quality puzzle-laden text adventures.
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Bronze avoided pretty much every single problem I have ever had with interactive fiction. Designed to be accessible to new players, it's very good at letting you know what you're supposed to be doing, how you're supposed to be doing it, and giving you a sense of your progress.
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Number of Reviews: 23
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
This is the first I-F I have ever played to completion, and the one to make me take notice of the form. In Bronze, you are Beauty, of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, and after a week-long "vacation" to visit your old family, you return to the castle to find something amiss.
This game is intended for those of us new to interactive fiction. Puzzles have multiple solutions, multiple puzzles are open to the player at once, no time limits, hints are built-in, even the most basic I-F commands can be listed for those completely new to I-F, the writing is solid, the difficulty is on the easier side, and exploration produces a strong sense of place while maintaining the fairy tale's soft lucidness. And, commands new to the form, such as GO TO, remove a lot of the tedium of the old-school games.
I strongly recommend Bronze to those friends and family who may enjoy a textual video game, but whom would have little patience with the intentionally frustrating and pedantic I-Fs of old.
I'll be honest- when I first saw this game, I wasn't too excited about it. It seemed like it would be some kind of Beauty and the Beast knockoff about love and conversation with NPCs more than the cave crawl I've come to love.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
Emily Short has taken many IF tropes and made them wonderful again. The dark maze is here, with a twist (Spoiler - click to show) you can listen to find your way around , you have the abandonitus of being in this huge castle alone, and there are puzzles to solve, keys to find, areas to unlock. It may not have been in the Zork universe, but I had all the excitement I had when I first played Zork I some 20 years ago.
What's more, she makes things so EASY for you, at least as far as annoying actions. Doors are automatically unlocked if you have the key, and opened. None of those annoying "that door is closed" messages. You can "go to" a specific room, or "find" a specific item, going back to where it was. When lost in the maze, you can be reminded what direction you came FROM, and when using the GO TO command, it tells you what directions and rooms you passed getting to your location. These little things really make the game more fun, as it avoids the tedium of moving back from room to room. If only Zork I had that...
Anyway, if, like me, you were wary of the game because of the title and premise- don't be. It's a fun puzzle game with plenty of flashbacks to provide a deep and well written story.
Bronze is a very user-friendly and fairly entertaining take on Beauty and the Beast. I was never once frustrated by syntax or by tedious tasks, and I really enjoyed the way that the backstory was revealed as my wanderings through the castle triggered memories and reflections of the time my character had spent there before the events of the game.
You may find that you need to draw a map, though the layout's not incredibly complicated. (You can't really get lost, thanks to the very useful "go to" syntax, which will take you back to any room you've already visited, but I found that the map helped me keep track of where I had and hadn't explored.)
The only thing I didn't like was that with at least one of the multiple endings, I felt that I'd been "cut off" from continuing, simply because of the order that I solved the final puzzles in.
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Recommended ListsBronze appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Explore-the-Structure Genre by Jim Kaplan
Lengthy games where the PC's express purpose is the exploration of a single complex structure, such as a museum or mansion. Progress in the game is usually measured by the segments of the structure the player has rendered accessible....
Games of Infocom quality and length (or better) by MathBrush
These are games that are as long as an Infocom game (i.e. Shade would be too short) and are as good quality (so Colossal Cave Adventure, though fun, is out). By quality, I mean the kind of things accomplished by numerous testers: few...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Bronze:
Long-Form Games That Don't Require Mapping by Steven Watson
Playing Losing Your Grip has reminded me of just how tedious I find manual mapping in lengthy games, no matter how much I enjoy everything else. So, I'm looking for some long, engrossing games that don't require the player to draw maps....
Games with unique hint systems by delano
I'm looking for games that offer hints in any way, except for printing them in sequence on the screen. For example: characters that offer hints; objects that, when examined or used in a certain way, suggest actions to the player; etc.
Games for Beginners by WriterBob
I'm looking for games that are suited for adults who are new to IF. My purpose is to share these games with friends and let them get experience IF without being frustrated by mazes or guess-the-verb issues. Please avoid children's games....
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