Alone

by Paul Michael Winters profile

Apocalyptic Horror
2020

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Number of Reviews: 9
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A solid old-school parser game about an abandoned gas-station, October 5, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

I saw some positive buzz for this game and was looking foward to it.

This is a parser game with a map that slowly expands, starting with a pretty constrained area but slowly branching.

Some have called this 'old-school' and I'd say that that's true, in the sense that the storytelling is mostly environmental, the puzzles are well-recognizable tropes with clever twists (color-coded switches, complicated devices, machines with missing parts, keys and locks, etc.), and the writing is mainly devoted to describing objects and things briefly and succinctly.

The puzzles form an enjoyable whole; I liked figuring out the different ways of handling the fusebox. I ended up needing to use the walkthrough when trying to find the (Spoiler - click to show)spring, and I locked myself out of the best ending accidentally when I (Spoiler - click to show)incinerated the worker and the device for making the cure. I hadn't saved in a long time, so I'll have to go back some time and try again. I got a sub-optimal ending, but still felt satisfied.


If anything could improve this game, it would be additional coverage of scenery implementation and synonyms. Much of the game depends at looking at scenery and looking at its sub-details, yet numerous such scenery objects are not implemented at all or require specific phrases. For an example of specific phrases, I couldn't refer to the (Spoiler - click to show)big red button as just (Spoiler - click to show)'red'. For an example of synonyms, 'push red fuse' doesn't work, but 'turn on red fuse' does. For missing scenery, when you see a faint light in the distance, you can't look at the light.

These aren't major impediments, but resolving this would take this game from good to great. I definitely think that this game will do well in the comp, and that the author could create future awesome games.

-Polish: As described above, I felt that the game could have benefitted from another few rounds of refinement with synonyms and such.
+Descriptiveness: The writing does a good job of describing the various objects you find.
+Interactivity: I enjoyed the puzzles outside of the polish issues.
+Emotional Impact: I felt a sense of mystery and exploration.
+Would I play again? I plan on finding the good ending some time.