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About the Story
Nothing in this hospital is as usual. After a serious accident you have to figure out what happened and how to escape. Written to showcase the German library extension for Inform 7.
Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2010 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 2
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As a game, Mariel is a competent and polished, but by no means remarkable. This short story haves you wake up in an unknown hospital after a traffic accident; you're first task is to escape from what is functionally (if not literally) a locked room. The rest of the game is a little more inventive, including a nice variation on one of the most famous scenes of Anchorhead, but there is nothing that will blow you away either in terms of puzzles or of story.
Mariel is in fact more interesting as the example game that accompanies GerX, the German library extension for Inform 7. You can look at the source code and see how the weird combination of English code and German prose works, and how technical details of the German language are managed. It seems to be relatively elegant, actually. There is also a 50-page PDF file which acts like an Introduction to Inform 7 in German that uses Mariel as the running example.
This game was written to showcase the German extension of Inform 7. You play someone who wakes up with scanty memories and some wounds in a dark and deserted castle/hospital, in the care of a nurse named Mariel.
The game demonstrates a lot of Inform's capabilities: scripted scenes, openable containers, movable objects, alterable exits, consumable objects, hidable objects, conversation, locks and keys, books, and so on.
The atmosphere really worked for me. A large, dirty, empty castle/cathedral converted into a hospital, the combination of freedom and restriction under Mariel, etc. But the game felt like it just suddenly cut off at the end, with no real resolution. This makes the game more like a toy demonstration, like Graham Nelson's Balances or Michael Robert's Ditch Day Drifter.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this game. Recommended for horror fans.
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