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About the Story
A short game with a few interesting tricks.
26th Place - 16th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2010)
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Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
This is a Crap Underimplemented Game. That's pretty much its genre. There's never a description where "You see nothing special about the X" will do, and you're lucky to get that. This isn't a good thing; it necessarily limits immersion, occasionally gets in the way of understanding what's going on, and breaks any trust in the author one might have thought of having.
But "The Chronicler" is not entirely lacking in merit. For one, despite what the author says about its unfinished state, it can be played to an ending. For another, it's actually reasonably possible to get to that ending. The puzzles are fair -- no guess the verb that I can remember -- and, unlike many a better game, they revolve around a consistent central mechanism that's rather clever: (Spoiler - click to show)You can travel back and forth between two moments in time, and changes you make in the past affect what you can do in the future. This isn't the first game to use this mechanism, but it's reasonably well implemented and reveals itself fairly.
In the end, I found the mechanism engaging enough that I played the game all the way through and got a half hour of decent diversion from it. This is more than I can say of some objectively better games. The author ought to spend a lot more time polishing things, implementing scenery, and either finishing the things he's left unfinished (some alternate endings and a hint of plot) or excising them from the game completely. But I didn't find it a complete waste of my time. That exceeded my expectations.
Itís not a good sign that the help says: ďUnfortunately, due to time constraints itís only half finished, or perhaps three-quarters. I can only hope that youíll find some amusement from the manipulations of objects it affords, while apologizing for the shortness of the experience.Ē It has a standard sci-fi type of setting, but I never mind that, being a sci-fi fan. However, after not having much motivation, seeing various unimplemented things (scenery, verbs), and getting an error, I kind of lost interest. I really tried to force myself to play a little more, but I was unable. Given all the marks against it, I just couldnít care about the game and certainly didnít want to invest any energy in it. Maybe I didnít give the game a fair shake, but if it starts out admitting that itís unfinished, why should I put in the effort?
This game came in last place the year it came in IFCOMP because the author revealed that it was incomplete.
However, as an incomplete game, it is better than quite a few completed games. You play as a researcher exploring an odd facility in space. A blast of energy transports them to an area with a time travel device.
The game is short, and the backstory is never developed. The time travel mechanic has confusing rules about where you appear, but overall, I enjoyed this game. The writing is descriptive. John Evans is known for writing great but unfinished games, so if you like this one, check out the others.
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The Chronicler on IFDB
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This is version 1 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 2 October 2010 at 10:00pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item