Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the Story
Board that Drain-Bound El for an adventure that could only happen in Erebus.
16th Place - 16th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2010)
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
Write a review
A game of two gimmicks: it takes place largely in total darkness, and the mechanics centre around wordplay. Among its many problems is that players may take quite a while to fully notice either of these.
Like earlier wordplay games (Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head Or Tail Of It, Ad Verbum) Erebus mostly eschews coherent plot and builds itself around word puzzles. The tone is wacky Zorkian, and the writing's main strength lies in mildly amusing silliness. The setting is the main divergence from this: islands in a dark subterranean lake, with an atmosphere not unlike like the game's namesake Hunter, in Darkness. This, combined with the opening sequence, make Erebus feel rather like two games that aren't quite on speaking terms; a Zorkian wordplay game set in a wacky hell, and a moodily surreal game about darkness and silence.
The core gameplay is about constructing short words from letters that you've found. The most annoying thing about Erebus is that using a letter consumes it; a replacement appears where it was originally found, and this entails a great deal of unnecessary trudging around the map. The second most annoying thing is that some of its puzzle solutions, particularly towards the end, feel quite arbitrary; this exacerbates the first problem, because the only real way of working the solution out is to try making lots of different words. Erebus shoots itself in the foot by saddling its fun central mechanic with tedious makework.
This game has you descend on a train to the depths of Erebus, where you have to find your way around in total darkness.
This game is centered on wordplay, involving letters (similar in a vague way to Threediopolis).
I don't want to spoil the main mechanic, but I also found it very hard to figure out the main mechanic. Lack of cluing seems to be one of the biggest issues here.
Failed to grab me, April 14, 2013
This one... failed to grab me.
I mean, I had some amusing moments, but they were accidental, such as this bit during the opening sequence, in which the PC is having a bit of a bad day on a very crowded train:
Two or more of your neighbors seem to be competing for the right to stand on top of your feet.I heard there's some clever shtick to the puzzles here, but the game failed to inspire motivation in me, and upon asking for a hint the game angered me by telling me I hadn't explored everywhere. It was true, I hadn't explored everywhere, but that was because exits were not always conveniently mentioned in room descriptions. Silly me for not exploring exits that I didn't know existed.
You can't find anything relevant by that name.
If you are new to interactive fiction, you may like to try typing HELP.
So then I was at the point where I started randomly typing directions just to see where the exits were. (ARGH!) Then it occurred to me to see if there was an EXITS verb, which there was, but then there was this clunky addendum at the end of all the room descriptions: From here you can go northeast to an unknown location, southeast to The Place You Just Came From, and east to an unknown location. How hard is it, in a game with a map requiring exploration, to seamlessly blend exits into room descriptions? Not difficult. People have been doing this since the 1970s.
In some fairness, the landscape is dark. Instead of operating on visuals, you're operating on touch and sound. Some of that's done well, but I failed to grasp a lot of what was going on around me, and I don't think it was the lack of visuals. Things just weren't articulated to me very well. I think you could still craft comprehensible room descriptions with stimuli gained through non-visual cues.
Anyway, I got pretty frustrated with this one, and it wasn't that engaging to me, and when I did find out what the goals of the game were (by typing >GOALS) I realized that things really. Were. Not. Well. Clued. At. All. I also spoiled myself by typing >SECRETS to find out what the shtick was. Huh, the shtick might have actually been fun, were I not already so frustrated.
If you enjoyed Under, In Erebus...
Related GamesPeople who like Under, In Erebus also gave high ratings to these games:
|The Blue Lettuce, by Caleb Wilson|
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
You are a groundhog who lives in a wizard's magical garden. A text adventure suitable for children and beginners. Made for the Text Adventure Literacy Jam.
|Ad Verbum, by Nick Montfort|
Average member rating: (127 ratings)
"With the cantankerous Wizard of Wordplay evicted from his mansion, the worthless plot can now be redeveloped. The city regulations declare, however, that the rip-down job can't proceed until all the items within had been removed. As an...
Illuminate, by Chris Conley (as Summer Del Mono)
Average member rating: (7 ratings)
How odd, you don't remember seeing this exhibit highlighted anywhere, and yet it has such an elaborate presentation. Well, perhaps you have a few minutes to spare before lunch...
Recommended ListsUnder, In Erebus appears in the following Recommended Lists:
PollsThe following polls include votes for Under, In Erebus:
Sublime Moments by Sam Kabo Ashwell
I've been thinking about games that provide really brilliant moments. This is not about the overall quality of the game: there are plenty of excellent games that never deliver a clear, standout moment of unalloyed excellence. And surely...
Games with amusing deaths by Andrew Schultz
Lots of games have one amusing death, but what games best take the concept and run with it? These deaths could be nudges on messing something up, or even better, or even a nice reward for a reader who is playing attention and notices a...
This is version 8 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 31 August 2017 at 2:53am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item