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About the Story
You've just crash landed in a mysterious forest, with a bad case of amnesia. Lucky for you the local hermit is willing to help you survive! You must explore, collect, craft, and equip yourself in order to escape and take revenge on those who have sabotaged you. Make sure to revisit previously explored areas and find the hidden treasure!
49th Place - 22nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2016)
The Breakfast Review
As an RPG, there is a natural focus on grinding battles to build up one's stats. Fortunately, it's easy to find these battles: these giant beetles keep reappearing at the same location, and it's a simple matter to just fight, leave, return, and fight again. Maybe unfortunately, that's the only thing there is ... I'm generally okay with a bit of grinding, but I wonder if many people are.
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This game has an interesting setup where you wake up, with amnesia, in a forest, wearing a tunic with a skull embroidered on it.
You have to fight your way past beetles to get upgrades to fight more beetles to leave a tutorial area which ends the game.
The problem with the combat system here is that small steps take a lot of effort. Typing takes much more effort than clicks; either typing needs to be reduced to superfast shortcuts, or each command typed needs to have significant effect. This game strugles to find that balance.
"The Skull Embroidery" is a classic computer role playing game, except that it is text based. It's the first game of this kind I played, so I cannot compare it to its peers like, e.g., the well received Kerkerkruip.
In this game you start out without equipment, and also without any memory of your past. Your clothing and the circumstances you find yourself in hint at a dark past and a betrayal. All actions in the game are taken in game rounds. Each round you have three action points and each action takes a variable amount of points. Only actions available - based on circumstances and remaining action points - are presented to you as a menu, from which you select them by the one or two first letters of the command.
The engine for this was implemented by the author in the programming language Ruby, probably a considerable and technically successful effort. However, I found the interface often clumsy, especially when I had to take a "wait" action outside a fight, because not enough points remained for what I intended to do, or when, instead of just typing the direction letter, I had to first choose the travel action and then the direction. Furthermore, combat in the early game is quite a drag, as you have only limited actions and it requires a lot of menus and additional key presses to read through the same descriptions over and over.
Still, despite all my problems with the game, the writing is of high quality and the traditional attractions of RPGs, i.e., levelling up and equipping your character, certainly work well here. There even is a crafting system! If text based RPG sounds like up your alley this is worth a try.
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