Glowgrass

by Nate Cull

Science Fiction
1997

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Number of Reviews: 7
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1-7 of 7


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Nice immersive sci-fi bit., March 2, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: SF

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.


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Fun, short romp through a Twilight Zone episode, July 19, 2017
by Cory Roush (Ohio)

I really enjoyed this one - adequate length, not too verbose, the parser responded to most commands that I tried, and the puzzles did not detract from the story. If I had one critique, it'd be that the reveal (Spoiler - click to show)of your expedition to a post-apocalyptic Earth came too early in the game. I suppose it wasn't all that difficult to figure out, but it could have meandered a bit more. (Spoiler - click to show)In fact, with the addition of some sci-fi technology like VR and "glowgrass", there's really no reason that one of the first items you find on the ground is, of all things, a Frisbee. The player could have been introduced to several other "new" and unique items, leading them to believe they were on some kind of exotic alien planet, and then the story could have really pulled a rug out from underneath you at an emotionally poignant part, such as when you find the Ancient's skeleton in her bedroom.


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Cute, short sci-fi game with great NPC and setting, July 2, 2015
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This game was very enjoyable, chiefly because it took a very different direction than I thought it would. It is a short sci-fi puzzle with some moderately difficult puzzles. It took less than 45 minutes to complete.

As others describe in their reviews, I had some guess-the-verb trouble and got stuck on one puzzle because I was too impatient.

This game has an NPC that I found much more emotionally interesting than just about any other NPC in a game. I found that the Club Floyd transcript had a few helpful comments from the game's author that clarified the ending. Wonderful game.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Clunky mechanics but engaging game, June 7, 2013
by Andromache (Hawaii)

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.


4 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
A Dispiriting Future / A Frustrating Present, April 26, 2010
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)

Glowgrass presents a future that is shrived of emotion and a time where natural resources are nearly depleted. This perspective is unavoidable, due to every room and every object being described in the same mathematical manner with salient environmental preachments. This approach made the game not very enjoyable, but I was able to muddle through until the bugs and the under-implementation hit.

Trying to (Spoiler - click to show)plug things in or connect them is a well-known problem with this game (see prior reviews). If you use the word "connect" by itself, you'll get a loverly TADS error. And if you type "HINTS", guess what? There aren't any! However, the ABOUT tells you that this game is not a puzzle-fest, but a story. That's cold comfort when you're left wondering what to do with the objects that you can't fit together in any way.

There are a few interesting moments that I was able to discover, but they don't make up for the dispiriting and frustrating whole.


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Nice setting, August 25, 2009

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.


4 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Solid and Enjoyable, December 9, 2008
by Rob Maule (Florida, USA)

Overall, I thought this was a delightful game. It was fun to play with the point of view presented. The writing was also solid. There's not a lot implemented, but what is has character. As this was a competition game, it was designed to play under two hours, but I finished it just under. It would have been great to have had more to explore. Exploration is the main aspect of the game, rather than puzzles. It does have puzzles, though the mechanics have something to be desired.(Spoiler - click to show) I had to resort to the walkthrough to figure out how to attach and detach from the cable. But I was looking for a short and fun game, which I found.



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