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9 people found the following review helpful:
A guided tour through some fun and technically clever ideas., November 21, 2010
I'm finding it hard to think about the game as a whole. It is intentionally modular, and I have no problem with that, but there wasn't enough of a character thread holding it together, leaving it feeling like a dream: (Spoiler - click to show)"Well first I was in prison with these scary aliens, and then I was running around in a space suit, and THEN there was this talking poo! and THEN! we were on a jet bike!" I felt the PC was a puppet and had assistance from unsavoury quarters -- (Spoiler - click to show)a toilet worm? really? -- where I would have preferred to work things out for myself. Every puzzle is guided by NPCs, leaving the PC with only the carrying out.
Not that the carrying out wasn't IMMENSE fun. It really was. The pace was kept very high, and the action felt thrilling and stylish and very imaginative. There was (Spoiler - click to show)a vehicle chase!! How often do you get chases in IF? in any written fiction? It was awesome, I was totally swept up in it.
I found one bug: (Spoiler - click to show)
Answering "no" to "do you identify as male or female?" actually caused the game to break completely.
Enter your name:>> Pip
“Pip!” the doctor repeats cheerfully. “How barely pronounceable!
And do you identify as male or female, Pip?”
(You could say male, or female.)
Dr. Sliss just smiles and nods.
and you are out of the conversation, the game never progresses, and you have to restart. We can leave the political discussion of non-binary gender for another day, for now I'll just say; that's quite a bad bug for an otherwise solidly programmed game.
The game is compassless, it uses forward-left-right instead of north-east-west. I'd not come across this before and loved how subtly it was done. It really cleans up the prose to be able to do this. Not sure how easy it would be to keep the locations straight in my head for a bigger map, but it was fine and very welcome on this scale.
Altogether a brilliantly fun game to play, but could have been tighter with more PC-led choices.
[This review is of the competition release, IF Comp 2010.]