Oxygen

by Benjamin Sokal profile

2010

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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Short & easy, polished, with multiple endings, April 14, 2013

It is not spoilery to tell you this first bit, because the game cuts to the chase on this with the first move and, let's face it, the title itself is spoilery. I won't go into the political particulars, but I'm on a space station, and there's been an explosion, and the systems are having trouble coming back on line, and I'm a tech. I gotta make things right.

I generally avoid science fiction at all costs, the two exceptions being when ClubFloyd is playing some scifi, the other exception being when a game comes up in my comp queue. So I heaved a heavy sigh as I began the game and the plot became clear. Then I started having a few traumatic Infocom Suspended flashbacks. Then I thought to myself, "I'll play a few turns, write it off as crap, then move on to something that hopefully involves an orc looking for a pig or someone trying to finish their dissertation."

But then Sokal had to be all polished and stuff, and I couldn't write it off as crap. I had to keep playing! Ultimately, the game is less about the science fiction and more about ethical choices, morality, politics, selfishness and selflessness, that sort of thing. It's not exactly terribly deep in those regards, but it's not a very long game and it's difficult to delve into such things in detail in a game of this length.

But I would nevertheless like to point out that it is still super swaddled in scifi gift-wrap with a giant scifi bow on top!

So if science fiction is your thang, you might like this. It is not my thang, but I feel bad holding that against the game. It's not Sokal's fault I really don't like scifi! So I added a point to my score to compensate for that.

Short and fairly easy to play, multiple endings. Seems like it could have benefitted from a WAIT FOR 6 TURNS command (or something similar), and a couple of other verbs that were suggested in the prose but not actually functional (REMOVE X from Y comes to mind), but it did anticipate some non-standard things that I tried to do. Only a couple of typographical flubs. It does a good job of backstory, character motivation, and is clever with its (optional) use of sound without being annoying (thank you, Sokal, for asking me if I had sound enabled... I took that as a warning; prior games by other people have just scared the poo out of me by not asking first, and I didn't really like that very much).

So, I gave this a 4 (it would have been a 3, but I bumped it up one to make up for my scifi allergy).