Sentencing Mr Liddell

by I-K. Huuhtanen profile


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Number of Reviews: 3
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A rare balance of wonder, threat and sadness, November 18, 2011
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)

An interesting game that takes Lewis Carroll and uses him as the basis for an original story. Mr. Liddell spends the entire game trying to catch up to his baby daughter in an underground Wonderland where he is forced to confronted the many weird people -- mostly, but not exclusively, family members -- who shaped his life and his soul. Much of the time, the game achieves a rare balance of wonder, threat and sadness that is very close to Carroll's originals (which are very dark books); this is certainly its finest accomplishment, and I assume it is what the author wanted to accomplish most.

The storytelling is punctuated by puzzles that are less impressive. You have to do a lot of examining and searching to find items, and you sometimes have to try many conversation topics in order to find the right answer. The author has provided a good hint system, but the game would have been stronger if the player's progress had been smoother and less dependent on finding obscure puzzle solutions. This is especially the case because some of the things you have to during the game are matters of choice, and it becomes confusing to the player whether he is trying to make a choice or trying to solve a puzzle with one single, predetermined solution.

The game also loses some of its charm in the final section, where it is plagued with near-identical rooms and confusing navigation and is not quite up to the standard of the rest of the game, the marvellous introduction in particular. The final word-based mechanic also doesn't quite work as it should.

But these weaknesses are not enough to bring down what is essentially a strong and interesting game, imaginative and full of Carrollian, fully human absurdities. Recommended (and not nearly as "disturbing" as some reviews may have led you to believe).