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11th Place - ADRIFT Hourglass Comp 2006
Assorted short reviews
Started off okay, but then seemed to go downhill. An event endlessly repeated itself and I couldn't seem to make any progress. There was also an oddity in the name of someone I was trying to pull from a trench wall continually changing, even from one command to the next. I struggled for a while but couldn't seem to figure out what I needed to do.
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I honestly didn’t know quite what to make of this IF. You have a few turns to get out of a trench as a soldier fighting in World Was 1. After your number of turns is up, you are brought into another trench which looks and feels exactly the same as the first one. Then, you do it all over again – and again and again… Personally, I could not manage to find a way to end this cycle. I have a strong suspicion that it was not meant to be ended. The vicious cycle if a single soldier’s battle and a metaphor for the entire war is clearly represented in Over the Edge. Even with writing that is only average, Over the Edge manages to carry across a haunting feel. From the actions of the PC’s captain and fellow soldiers to the gray, hopeless atmosphere, Over the Edge rings with something raw and bleak.
There is something to Over the Edge that caused me too feel a building sense of dread and desperation. The repetitive nature of the game - which so often fails in other IF - actually works here. There are a lot of bugs, some of which can be interpreted as intentional gimmicks.
It left me frantically thinking of a way to free the PC from the treacherous cycle and yet, nothing I did worked. Perhaps, it was not meant to work, which would justly serve to highlight the bleakness and inhumanity of war. In any case, I have not managed to finish Over the Edge in any meaningful sense. Its under implemented setting, bugs, and lack of an actual conclusion work against it. And yet, I feel that something that elicited such a strong emotion without using extravagant descriptions and strong puzzles does not deserve a one or a two. But because of all its errors and limitations, it by no means deserves a higher rating. In the end, I still don’t know what to think of Over the Edge. Give it a try and judge for yourselves.
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