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Story File (Release 2)
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Story File (Release 1)
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.

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Calm

by Joey Jones profile and Melvin Rangasamy

Science Fiction
2011

Web Site

(based on 16 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

Since the spores came life has been happier. How could it not be? For now stress is fatal and all who remain alive must remain calm...


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Current Version: 2
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
IFID: C17C8810-674D-475F-A859-AB29EB965E0D
TUID: l63f3uuzl1x8a1

Awards

20th Place - 17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2011)


News

Calm Post-Comp Release December 5, 2011
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(2)
3 star:
(11)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
My kingdom for 3 1/2 stars, April 30, 2012
by katz (Altadena, California)

First off: The premise of Calm is brilliant. Earth has been decimated by a fungus that causes stress to kill you. Like any proper post-apocalyptic game (a woefully underrepresented genre in IF), you have to act carefully to survive, but the survival process is based on avoiding stressful situations and finding ways to destress.

The descriptions are atmospheric and evocative; coupled with the smooth implementation, it's a rewarding world to just wander through.

There are, however, some issues that keep this good game from being a great game.

First, the player's mood is a two-axis scale described by a single adjective. While I must applaud the author's vocabulary, it left me constantly guessing. I would have preferred two quantitative values to one qualitative one, although I suspect other players may disagree.

Second, while multiple solutions and implicit actions are both good mechanics, I don't think they work that well in conjunction. The game allows various items to be used for various acts and automatically picks one of them if you don't specify. Since items are everywhere and there's no carrying capacity, most actions succeed without you really having to think about them. Again, some people may like this; I found it too Nemean-Lion-ish. Occasionally the games choices didn't make sense, either (smashing a lock with a bottle).

Third, the starting quests feel pointless to me. For instance, one requires you to gather food, but you never need the food, and you aren't penalized nor does the quest revert to incomplete if you eat all the food or drop it.

Still, it's a well-realized game and I found myself returning to it. My concerns may not bother other players at all. Calm is worth checking out.


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A great concept frustrated by mechanics. Stay calm or die., May 6, 2016

In this game, you can customize your name, background, goals, etc. You then are let loose in a world where a mutant fungus makes you die if you stress out.

The customization is fun, and a sliding scale of emotions is provided in the corner.

However, this ambitious game falls short in execution with a wide variety of bugs, mainly synonym bugs. This causes frustration.

Overall, recommended for the beginning.


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Polls

The following polls include votes for Calm:

Vivid games by Jeff Sonas
I'm looking for games that evoked strong feelings or strong mental images that stayed with you long after you finished the games.

Games with unique hint systems by delano
I'm looking for games that offer hints in any way, except for printing them in sequence on the screen. For example: characters that offer hints; objects that, when examined or used in a certain way, suggest actions to the player; etc.

Games about strange and wonderful plants by verityvirtue
Botany!

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This is version 10 of this page, edited by Zape on 4 May 2021 at 10:42pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item