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A try-die-repeat game with oddball knowledge-based puzzles, January 26, 2018
The original Lurking Horror was one of my favorite Infocom games, so I was interested in seeing Veeder's take on it.
This game is closer to Captain Verdeterre's Plunder than to any of Ryan's other games. Like Verdeterre, this game has a tight timer that sends you to your death, and you must play over and over to beat it.
This game exploits that structure for the story in amusing ways, though. You pick up in G.U.E. Tech (from Lurking Horror, itself inspired by M.I.T.), stuck in a time loop caused by the awakening of an Elder God. You are very aware of your previous iterations.
Progress is similar to Hadean Lands, in that you progress by gaining knowledge that your later iterations use. But instead of being tracked in-game, the knowledge is stored in password-like spells. The spell names include mangled versions of the author's name and a scrambled name of a D&D slime demon.
I enjoyed this game quite a bit; the solutions were generally very reasonable, and there was a nice 'power boost' or two near the middle of the game, with the end requiring you to tie everything together. I got impatient with one puzzle in the middle, when I had half a dozen unused spells and the same number of unsolved rooms and I couldn't figure out which ones went together. I decompiled to get past that stage, and didn't have any trouble after that.