Walker's Rift

by verityvirtue profile

Fantasy
2015

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- Wei Yuan Lee, January 13, 2019

- IFforL2 (Chiayi, Taiwan), January 14, 2017

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting setting, but needs to guide the player a bit more, August 24, 2015

In "Walker's Rift", you are the director of a new station, in a futuristic city inspired by Singapore with a monster problem. The world depicted is interesting, with monster hunters who have to go explore sewage systems to eradicate them, as well as the depiction of a high class which doesn't know a thing about what regular folks endure down there; it may feel like a classic device, especially in SF, but I like if the contrast safety/monsters and the need for monster hunters to go crawl in the sewage is explored further.

The game gives you several options to personalize your character, including how they should be referred to, what kind of job they have, how they got there and how they feel about it. However, I didn't feel like it mattered very much from what I saw, and there is one instance where the game contradicts itself (Spoiler - click to show)(asking you what you think about coffee when earlier in the game they say you are at your third cup of coffee); I don't think it leads to radically different playthroughs, but I could be wrong. I didn't really like that (Spoiler - click to show)the game litterally listed 3 reasons why you might not like coffee when selecting this option, as if you need to make up your own: I prefer it when the author is specific, and uses the info I provide to write a specific character, justifying my choices, instead of 'just picture it in your head'.

The writing is okay, although some sentences didn't really work for me ((Spoiler - click to show)'the girl lingers outside like a bad smell'...). Some parts, again, would be improved by more precise writing; there's mention of "gossip on the internet", but didn't really say what, and other parts were maybe too long or had choices that weren't really interesting. The biggest gameplay part was (Spoiler - click to show)investigating the disease, but this doesn't really work mechanically: you are presented with, like, 6 options, with no real idea on what you should do first (and it's "timed", you can't do them all), and if you don't do things in the right order you frustratingly go down a completely useless branch (and sometimes the branches repeat text, which is even more frustrating). There was no real guidelines anywhere, nobody to ask about either, and even when you do something that's not optimal, the game doesn't really tell you "oh, maybe you should have done ..." or something; so I thought that was frustrating, since I interpreted it as "lawnmowering to find the author's sequence of events" rather than a problem of method (which it might have been, but since the game didn't help me figure it out...). Which is a shame, really - that sounded interesting, like a futuristic (Spoiler - click to show)House, MD episode, and there aren't enough games like that, especially sci-fi ones; but it's gotta be logical or have some kind of rules or method so that the player feels they understand what's going on a bit.

I would like to see more of that game, especially given the setting, but the gameplay elements were unsatisfying for now, and maybe I would have liked to see more in this introduction to know what to expect (is it going to be all investigation, or will there be action sequences? also, more details about the world).



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