Carpathian Vampire

by Garry Francis profile

Horror
2022

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Number of Reviews: 4
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Short vampire game works even for those who don't like vampires, May 17, 2022
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)
Related reviews: TALP 2022

I admit I'm not much of a fan of vampires, so when the author asked for testers, I opted for his other game. I've been through the general vampire tropes, and they don't do much for me, whether it's humor that plays on said tropes or more detail than I want. Yet it's effective. The tutorial bit gets you inside the castle with no way out, and it's atmospheric, but on some level you know you'll need to (and you will) find the key to leave the castle.

So I believe I would've enjoyed testing this as well as Garry's other, because it fits really well as a TALP entry, giving clues where you need it and providing a clear path through. I think while having a tutorial is good, having other bumpers along the way to follow up is better, so it's not just about helping people through a text adventure but letting them know what to expect. And the tutorial never quite ends--it seems to know when to give a small nudge. In this case, making light has its pitfalls. There are sensible ways to mess up, and the game says, hey, look at what's in your inventory.

There's another bit where your inventory is full from all the items, and you have some choices of what to drop. You never have to inventory juggle, but the guidance is nice all the same. There aren't too many items, because the map is not too big, and generally there's a lot of sampling of ways text adventures should work.

I also must give credit to the HINT command. The game is not too difficult, though I used them a couple times for expedience or to make sure I was done. The hints are in brief four-line poetry like those old Burma-Shave ads, and they're quite catchy and succinct and sometimes even funny, even the "you're done here" nudge. And while the game's tone isn't humorous, it works well here, better than a dry "do this next." So the game is worth a replay for that alone.