Brain Guzzlers from Beyond!

by Steph Cherrywell profile


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Number of Reviews: 8
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Consistent fun, beginner friendly, December 5, 2015

I'm new to IF, but I still had a good time with this game.

In terms of the gameplay, I was never frustrated, but I still found the puzzles to be enjoyable.

I wasn't a big fan of the old (50s? 60s?) setting, but I appreciated the opportunities for humor that it afforded. It made me chuckle quite a few times.

I particularly liked the conversation system. I've been constantly frustrated by conversations in other IF, and having a multiple choice system like this works well, IMO. I've heard a common criticism of this type of interaction is that it feels too much "on rails" and doesn't feel immersive because you're not able to do whatever you want with regards to interacting with a character. I don't really agree with that criticism - in practice, you ARE limited to what you can do with a character even when it's not a multiple choice dialog system. Sure, you can type whatever you want, but a large class of actions are going to receive an identical or very similar non-response, so, effectively, you get the same experience. Even for choices that may seem like valid things to say to a character, the author might simply not have had time to implement responses or the parser might not be good enough to anticipate them. I like the compromise the multiple choice system achieves. Instead of spending time figuring out how I'm supposed to say what I want to say, I can just see my options right away.

The choice-based dialogue may not work so well, though, for a more first-person type of game where you're supposed to get more of a sense of "being your character", and it also has issues with regards to hiding information from players and having the dialog choices change when certain events occur, since, as the player, you don't always know when an event is going to let you say new things to a character. But I still liked it for this game.

I also really liked the inclusion of character portraits when you start a conversation. Just a few images to characterize the characters and give you a bit of an easier time imagining what the author intended adds a lot to the game, in my opinion. I thought the style of these portraits really went well with the style of the game, too.

So, overall, I definitely recommend it if you're new to IF. It's quite short, but it's solid and lacks some stuff that can make other IF frustrating to new players.

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