Second Wind

by Matthew Warner


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Number of Reviews: 5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A post-apocalyptic game about helping a baby's birth, October 3, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

I enjoyed Matthew Warner's last IFComp game, Tombs and Mummies, but I think this represents a substantial upgrade. The author makes excellent use of the Adventuron engine here and I had little trouble with the parser itself.

You play as a man in a shelter that survivors of two apocalypses have constructed. Outside roam the infected weremen. Inside, your wife is about to have a baby, but she needs a c-section, and the only person who can help you is someone not likely to want to do so.

This game is Cruel on the Zarfian scale. It is very easy to unknowingly lock yourself out of victory. It also includes some randomized combat, although there are ways to fix anything that goes wrong.

There is a timer going on, so you can't dilly-dally too long.

A lot of puzzles have a riddle-like or crowssword-puzzle-like quality, like unscrambling words, remembering famous pop-culture numbers, or navigating a maze.

I beat about 60% of the game, but I had missed a major component early on and couldn't figure out why I always ran out of time. The walkthrough helped me through that.

Once you know the codes replay is faster, so it's not too bad to retry if you die.

+Polish: Very smooth. This is Adventuron at its best implementation-wise, I think.
+Descriptiveness: It was very descriptive.
-Interactivity: I like the game, but fiddling with the doors and equipment and doing the unscrambling puzzle weren't really my cup of tea (although the unscrambled messages were funny!)
+Emotional impact: I think the game may overreach at times in the emotional effect it's going for, by relying on a selfless choice as the main thrust but requiring that selfless choice to proceed. Still, I found the story interesting.
+Would I play again? Yes, after I've had some time to forget the puzzles.

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