Number of Reviews: 4
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I'm Shining a Flashlight Up At My Face While Writing This Review, March 6, 2012
I had fun playing Hallow Eve, although I grabbed the post-comp, bug-fixed version. I had read a few other reviews regarding implementation issues. So my expectations were properly set. That being said, the post-comp version seems pretty cleaned up, going by what other reviewers have said.
The main thing I liked about Hallow Eve is how completely we are brought into the world the author envisioned, warts, bombastic energy and all. While playing, I got a bit of nostalgia for the time in my life when I was totally engaged with that same sort of new-author passion for IF. I suspect that Michael Phipps has some trouble imagining what a lot of players might do because I definitely have the same problem when I put together my stuff. (And of course, the good news is that it's correctable.)
The premise (slasher flick) is great for IF, and Phipps puts his own take on things to where I felt this is a good example of IF as a genre piece. It's not going to turn you into a horror movie fan if you hate them, but this hit a lot of the genre conventions while still keeping me interested. I wanted to save those poor gals! Some of those poor guys could eat a bag of pants! I soon realized it was gonna be tough to save anyone. But honestly, with crazed, armed lunatics shambling about, it sort of is.
There's a lot of really ambitious stuff going on with this game -- you've got a bunch of NPCs in the woods (where they can scatter easily) drinking liquids, talking to each other and having their own agendas. It doesn't all come together smoothly, but I love that Hallow Eve isn't intimidated by things said to be tough in IF.
I guess my main suggestion regarding Phipps's next game is mainly to really listen to how people talk, and write accordingly. For instance, there was a bit where one of the girls says "hehe." If your game is going for text-speak-as-dialogue that's fine, but if the author doesn't make it completely known that he or she is aware what's going on, it can be a bit distracting.
But yeah, this is a good first attempt at interactive fiction. I both applaud the attempt, and ask that nobody notice during my applause that one of my hands is actually a giant fish hook!! **screeches violin**