El Archipiélago

by Depresiv


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Fun in the way graphic adventures are fun., June 3, 2017
by IFforL2 (Chiayi, Taiwan)

This Spanish work does a good job of being at once a game and a story. It was quite fun, but it felt like one of those graphic point-and-click adventures. The game world is medium sized; I didn't need a map, but I would have moved more quickly with one. Each chapter consists of an initial choice-based backdrop scene followed by a puzzle-solving exploration session.

Again, this game really was fun, but it could have been even more fun with consistent implementation. (Spoiler - click to show)Each magical device only works once to solve a specific puzzle. You can't tinker with the cauldron, the garden, or anything. After I solved the growing fruit puzzle, I tried to do it again, but the game just asked, "Why would you want to do that?" I tried putting other things like water and a rabbit into the cauldron and even lit the fire. Nothing even cooked! That rabbit is a survivor!

Most of the puzzles are standard for parser-games. Some of the puzzles use ascii graphics to imitate graphic adventure type puzzles. Whether or not such puzzles belong in IF, it would be courteous for an author who employs them to hyperlink the controls. The act of typing a command just to make a minuscule adjustment started to feel tedious after a while.

I considered one of the normal puzzles unfair. (Spoiler - click to show)Any interaction with the eagle suggests that she can't communicate with you and she's dangerous to touch. But lo and behold, you suddenly can communicate with her and touch her only when one puzzle requires it. When I consult an in-game walkthrough, I believe I should think, "Oh, duh. I would have thought of that if I'd given it enough time and patience." With this puzzle, I felt irritated that the game steered me away from the correct solution at every prod.

For Spanish language learners, I'd rate the vocabulary as roughly intermediate level. However, the work includes a warning that it is not for readers younger than 14. A walkthrough is accessible within the game.

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