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About the Story
You play as a xenohistorian on an expedition. You've been dropped (more literally than you planned) by a dropship over the ground of the Ancients. Your equipment was scattered and the dropship crashed. Now it's just you, your wits, and the Ancients to help you find a way home.
Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Story - 1997 XYZZY Awards
A xenohistorical expedition to recover artifacts of "the Ancients" takes on a surprisingly human and personal tone in this far-future sci-fi story. Simple Planetfall-like puzzles, thoughtful prose that establishes moods with parsimony. Short but not rushed. Well worth playing.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
Post-apocalyptic IF? There hasn't been any, in my memory -- A Mind Forever Voyaging is the only thing that comes close -- but there's no reason why there couldn't be, and Nate Cull's Glowgrass, small but well-conceived, is certainly an interesting attempt. Though the game itself has some flaws, the story is intriguing enough to make it enjoyable. (Duncan Stevens)
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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
Glowgrass is a well-written game with a pleasantly creepy aura, a pleasurable way to spend a couple of hours and hopefully a prelude to more quality work.
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 7
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One of the first IFs I ever played. I then thought it was fantastic. Upon replay, with many more games to compare it to, it can still hold its own.
Spatially, it's a small game. A house, a garage and a garden (where the eponymous Glowgrass grows. Beautiful image.) The feel of the game is larger though, thanks to a sort of VR-device you find in the house. The heart of the story, the backstory of the people who once lived in the house is to be found there.
Not much puzzlewise, nothing that a curious mind can't handle without hints. (and one small how-do-I-phrase-this-so-the-game-understands puzzle).
Good moving story, well recommended.
This was an easy game with an engaging premise, exploring an Ancient ruin. Indeed, there are no real puzzles in the game except maybe at the very beginning to get into the compound. There's a touch of horror to the story, but I wouldn't consider it disgusting. More...unnatural. Not enough to be severely unsettling, though.
There are some parsing hiccups along the way, but I found they were mostly surrounding one particular game item, (Spoiler - click to show)the cable. However, the parser does helpfully provide the correct verb if you try to take the object but can't manipulate it. (Spoiler - click to show)"Attach" and "connect," plus related antonyms, should have been implemented, but the problem can also be solved by referring to specific sockets you want to put the cable in. The real trouble with the gameplay is more about having to perform actions one by one. Like, you can't just head in the direction of a door. You have to perform each step individually, which is rather annoying after getting used to more modern games.
Jerkiness aside, the game was still easy enough to get through with no hints and my only major complaint is really that the story is kind of unresolved. I'm a bit confused about the ending. The author says material had to be cut out to make the game fit the parameters of the competition, and perhaps the story resolution was that material, but I'd be interested in seeing an epilogue.
The best thing about Glowgrass is the setting. It's an interesting premise, though sparsely implemented, that does a pretty good job of drawing you in.
The environment is pretty small, and the puzzles for the most part are quite simple - though as another reviewer mentioned, there are some flaws in the implementation. For example, if you throw x at y, you are told that you can't reach y with just your hands! (Spoiler - click to show)The really irritating part is that you ARE supposed to throw x at y... but if you specify the target, you're screwed.
The conversational mechanic is also a little unintuitive - if you're having trouble, just realize there's an ABOUT keyword, and it's crucial.
If you don't get caught on the rough edges in the mechanics, Glowgrass will probably only take you 15 or 30 minutes to finish, if that. It's worth playing.
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