Hallow Eve

by Michael Wayne Phipps Jr.

Horror
2011

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Look for the Author's Second Game, May 13, 2011
by RandomExile
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2011

...but don't play this one.

Hallow Eve aspires to be a campy 80's slasher romp, but falls apart on weak technicals and poor design.

Problems include: finicky verbs ("saw [object]" doesn't work while you're holding the saw but "cut [object] with saw" does); sit-and-wait plot trigger; an area you're cautioned you could get lost in and have no reason to explore, but which contains a critical item you'll discover you need while on the opposite side of the map, although there's still no reason to think the boring maze-area might have such a thing; occasional plot-on-rails despite superior alternatives (someone's dying right now but you have to walk someone else to her car); poorly responsive NPCs; and the game's entirely unplayable without the walkthrough.

It's the author's first work, and considering that, it's far more substantial as a game than many learning pieces. I was torn between leaving 1 star out of 5, which seems harsh and discouraging, and 2, which seems slightly generous.

There's a good lesson here about seeking feedback early in the development process while puzzles and plot are still being sketched out in even the briefest of design and puzzle documents. Also a great opportunity to check out the IF Theory Reader (edited by Kevin Jackson-Mead and J. Robinson Wheeler), and Jimmy Maher's Let's Tell a Story Together (A History of Interactive Fiction).


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Shoelip, May 14, 2011 - Reply
I have to thoroughly agree with your review, especially the title.

The premise was actually very similar to an idea I've had for a while now for a game where you play a character in an 80s style campy, exploitative slasher flick, only, since it was a game, you could actually affect the plot by saving your friends and whatnot. This actually comes quite close to that, but some shaky execution brings it down. I hope the artist makes another game in a similar vein with the technical knowledge he gained making this one.
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