Perilous Magic

by David Fillmore


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Number of Ratings: 8
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1-9 of 9

- Edo, August 9, 2022

- Zape, April 17, 2020

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Very short, but not bad, February 19, 2014
by Simon Deimel (Germany)

The game is set in modern times, but contains elements of a Zorkian adventure: spell scrolls. So you basically have a modern slice-of-life setting with a modern aim to be achieved, but to finish the game you have to draw on casting a spell (not much of a spoiler, the player is going to find this out very soon). The game is easily solved and ends with a joke.

I did not play the whole bunch of Infocom games when I was young, so there was no nostalgia effect for me. Nevertheless I found the story entertaining enough to make me find a solution. The method how to solve it was easy to find, the trick is very obvious.

Recommended mainly for beginners -- it is short and does not cause much frustration. Veterans of IF will probably feel unchallenged. Then again the game is very short, so there won't be much time lost.

- Molly (USA), December 30, 2012

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Useful case study for would-be writers., December 29, 2012

Calling this work a game seems to miss the mark; instead, the overwhelming impression I got was that it is the result of the author's studied effort to learn Inform 6.

In a beginner's shop class at school, the focus is on learning to use the tools to create something basic and functional but not necessarily aesthetically pleasing. This thoroughly pragmatic product is in exactly that style -- a simple scenario, solidly constructed.

I would like to add "with no frills" to that description, but that would be inaccurate. There are, in fact, several frills -- a built-in hint system (which is ridiculous overkill in this context), plus several hidden items and joke responses to non-obvious behavior. The thing is, unless you are perusing the supplied source code, you are unlikely to encounter most of these details; clearly, they were implemented more for the author's amusement than the players.

Even though I don't believe this was a serious attempt to create something entertaining, Perilous Magic is instructive for the aspiring author and worth reviewing simply as a case study to compare the playing experience vs. the code supporting it, especially when it comes to deciding which interaction elements matter enough to be worth the implementation cost. That's a design skill (not a coding skill) that seems hard-won for many authors, but which quickly makes itself evident in the best examples of IF.

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), May 12, 2011

- Fredrik (Nässjö, Sweden), January 24, 2011

- Muskie, August 13, 2010

Baf's Guide

Very short Zork homage, centered on a throwaway joke in the Sorcerer manual. Cute and occasionally funny, though it's so small that there aren't many crevices to explore once you've finished it.

-- Duncan Stevens

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