Leonard Robinson and the Quest for the Gift

by samyuol


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Surprising, February 27, 2014

So. First impression: this is going to be awful. Starts out at a desk in a featureless office, with a hero who has a ridiculously banal quest. Yep. This is going to be awful.

And... it wasn't. Things rapidly become more exciting, in a web comic meets action movie kind of way that plays it pretty straight (if sometimes a bit over the top). The characters are likable (although flattened into easily recognizable roles) and there's a real sense of the emotions between them. It's obvious this is a prologue of sorts to a much larger story, and sometimes backstory is sacrificed for immediate action (which I find preferable to the alternative).

The design is solid, and most choices lead to actual branches, some that loop, some that don't. Choices are meaningful but the "best" path is not always obvious (and sometimes sub-optimal choices work out in surprising ways). I could have done with less author abuse of the characters, but I read that as more of a self-defense mechanism than anything else.

The whole piece needs a proofreader to polish it. The author does a lot of things right, and I wouldn't want to polish until it lost what makes it unique -- just enough to take some of the unintentional rough spots out.

More than worth the time to play, as long as you don't mind profanity and are willing to suspend a little disbelief.

(Small) (Spoiler - click to show)It's not that I don't enjoy thirty-two step convoluted brain-meltingly hard unlock the door because it's there puzzles that require six sub-puzzles to be solved first (without accidentally alerting the NPC who is wandering around), it's just that sometimes you want to beat up a bunch of thugs as a solo one man army after making a single bold choice. While on crutches, no less. It's a credit to the author that I came out of this scene feeling badass and not silly.