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:
Clever Puzzles, Strong Atmosphere, December 6, 2020
by Joey Acrimonious
Related reviews: IFComp 2020

Alone is a gloomy exploration of post-apocalyptic survival. It has some nice, succinct writing and some implicit commentary on current events, but I read it first and foremost as a vehicle for puzzles. In classic parser fashion, you’ve got a problem to solve, and you have to work out how to do it through exploring and using the tools you find. For the most part, I thought the challenges were very well-designed: neither too obvious nor unfairly hard, they require a bit of logic and sometimes a bit of an inductive leap. I found them satisfying to solve.

Framing the central problem-solving task are a cast of characters, a story, and a world, all of which are successfully employed to buttress the action, but none of which are really the focus. The level of polish is good, with no bugs that I encountered.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more on the storytelling front. What kind of person is the protagonist? Where have they been? Where are they going? Exploring details like these, I think, would have made me feel a bit more invested in the problem-solving. But even so, it was a good time and I reckon fans of oldschool text adventures will be pleased with Alone.