The Mysterious Case of the Acrobat and His Peers

by Amanda Tien


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Number of Reviews: 2
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Sadly not yet ready for public release, February 2, 2009
by Molly (USA)

I was a little reluctant to give this game a shot, especially since I'd heard nothing about before it showed up on the IFDB pages. But then my desire to give this a review got the better of me, so I took the plunge and downloaded it.

You play as some sort of investigator that's looking into the disappearance of an acrobat from the circus. And here is when we run into problems. The game suggests that you should show your badge and say hello to anyone you meet, but you aren't carrying anything at the start of the game. So how do you accomplish this feat?

Simple! You just ask (or tell, I presume as well) anybody in the game about anything at all, and not only will you show the person your unimplemented badge, but you'll meet-&-greet everybody in the room your badge, even animals. This tends to break the mimesis of the game, especially when the person does not give a reply.

More mimesis-breaking events can very easily be found throughout the game: people and objects often (or always?) can only be referred to by one name, which would be trouble enough, if it weren't for the fact that sometimes the proper name for an object or person isn't even given in their description; mislabeled room exits; characters that are described to be carrying things that turn out not to exist if you try to interact with them; objects that are listed twice, first in the general room description, then in their own seperate paragraph; etc.

I declined to give this game a starred review, mostly becase I played so little of it, but also because the game is simply not ready for any wide release in the state it's currently in. My advice to the author is to test the game again thoroughly, this time with a few friends on hand to assist with looking for bugs and things that would take a player out of the game, then squash the bugs found and redo anything the testers felt took them out of the game (get some help from r.a.i.f. if you need it), and then re-release the polished game. It's a great deal of trouble, but it's worth it to create a good game that works.

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