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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

(based on 17 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


Awards

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


News

We have now released the post-competition version of Calm, a multi-linear game of postapocalyptic relaxation. You explore and make hard choices in a lush and dangerous town where the wilderness reigns and stress is fatal.

The game features a series of starting choices regarding how you've managed to remain calm, and these have a profound effect on how the game is played. Almost all challenges within the game can be solved in more than two ways.

In this version:
Streamlined locations and puzzles
Richer descriptions and story elements
A comprehensive inbuilt hint mode
Reported by Joey Jones | History | Edit | Delete
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Member Reviews

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4 star:
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3 star:
(11)
2 star:
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1 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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9 of 9 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.

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4 of 5 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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Calm on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Calm appears in the following Recommended Lists:

The Best of the Best by bluevelvetwings
Whether because of amazing writing, immersive plot, unique atmosphere, or whatever else, these are the games I personally consider the best IF has to offer. ...

Combinatorial Explosion by verityvirtue
Combinatorial explosion is a name fitting for a band, or a game about chemistry, but, according to mama Wikipedia, it refers to "the effect of functions that grow very rapidly as a result of combinatorial considerations". There you have...

Polls

The following polls include votes for Calm:

Games about strange and wonderful plants by verityvirtue
Botany!

Apocalypse How by katz
Post-apocalyptic games: equal parts cliche and fun. Authors are free to dispense with pesky NPCs, complicated modern technology, and implementing working everyday items. Players can have no inhibitions about acting like murderous...

games where you can create your own character/aspects of character by Angharade
I'm curious if there are any IF games where you can create your own character. I'm more interested in parser games than point and click, but I'm open to exceptions if they merit a mention. Also games wherein your actions change...

See all polls with votes for this game




This is version 11 of this page, edited by Joey Jones on 17 January 2024 at 4:19pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page