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About the Story
You play as someone plagued by nightmares of falling, but in tonight's nightmare, you've somehow landed in in a strange alien city. With the time-lost Charles Bristow, you'll uncover the city's dark secrets, see unspeakable monsters, and learn of an evil ritual in the city's temple that must be stopped at all costs.
Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2002 XYZZY Awards
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
So now that I've railed on the game for being unoriginal and unpolished, let me take a moment to point out something I really liked about it. Early on in the action, you acquire a sort of "sidekick" NPC, who follows you through most of the story, and who himself becomes the crux of an optional puzzle...
[H]e and the PC really function as a team in several instances. I'm writing a series of games that ostensibly feature a PC/NPC team, but thus far I've copped into having the PC do most of the work while the NPC has some excuse for being out of the action. I thought The Temple was an excellent example of how to really create interdependent action between a PC and an NPC, and it got me excited about the challenge of doing so in my next game. For that alone, it repaid the time I gave to it.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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This is the kind of game that I enjoy much more than most people would, as I am a big fan of Lovecraftian horror and of atmospheric puzzlefests.
This mid-length game has a bit of a bottleneck opening, followed by a non-linear map area. It's more of an old-school feel, with some actions that are not really fair but not too bad. Two or three of the puzzles are solved by returning to an old area.
You have a recurring nightmare, and this time you can't get out. You explore an abandoned city that is a mix of R'lyeh and of the fortress in Enchanter by Infocom. Ancient writing, mystical texts, haunting memories from a half-forgotten past, violent cultists, gibbering horrors, this hits up a lot of the best parts of Lovecraft.
The NPCs are a bit weak, as you can't talk about much.
a small number of locations, many of them containing nothing but scenery and background.
an NPC who follows you around and can be asked about things, and whose presence is necessary in certain situations.
a small number of objects to be collected to solve a handful of puzzles.
The Temple is very consistent with commercial IF in the late 1980s. it's a short game, with a couple of "read the author's mind" moments (it would never have occurred to me that (Spoiler - click to show)the translated book changes the descriptions of other items when carried, instead of it being an object i could CONSULT or READ) and lucky coincidences, but nothing truly awful. the prose is better than average, and i got at least moderately attached to the NPC by the end of the game.
a good way to spend a couple of hours. with a little polish it would be a classic short game.
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