Elsegar I: Arrival

by Silas Bryson


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A simple broad fantasy game with maze, October 8, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game reminds me a lot of the games the teenagers made in my interactive fiction summer camps.

It’s got a broad, wide open map with generally one item of interest in each room or less. The puzzles are simple and represent broad tropes: find a key, talk to an NPC, kill a monster, buy an item. There are direct references to both Animal Crossing and Minecraft. The writing is spare and simple.

There are several typos in the game (like ‘Mine if I’ instead of ‘Mind if I’); in the future, you can type CTRL+G in the Inform IDE to do spellcheck (although some always slips through!)

Implementation is spare as well. I see that the author posted their draft of the game on the forums in May, and got some responses, but I think that the game could definitely use some more thorough beta testing (although that effort definitely did happen).

Honestly? This is simple and clean. The maze wasn’t my favorite (it looks like it was created by drawing a 9 by 9 grid and connecting rooms with a big squiggly path, and has no special features to distinguish it from other mazes). But I’d much rather play a simple game where everything works than a game full of complex systems that fail miserably. This game, though, could do a lot more to distinguish itself.

-Polish: The game had several typos.
-Descriptiveness: The writing was bare and relied on tropes for your imagination rather than its own ideas.
+Interactivity: The maze wasn't the worst thing ever and I like playing through clean simple games.
+Emotional impact: The game was fairly flat, but at least I had some fun.
-Would I play again? I think I've seen enough.

Comments on this review

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Rovarsson, December 1, 2020 - Reply
You went on Interactive Fiction summer camp?! How totally awesome!
MathBrush, December 1, 2020 - Reply
Yeah, I taught it this summer. It's a lot of fun!
Rovarsson, December 1, 2020 - Reply
Should I imagine a group of computer nerds and social outcasts like american movies have taught me, or was it a more varied group of people who just happened to have a shared interest?

I ask because the cliché in the movies seems to get stronger here (Belgium). In my youth I read two books a week and loved CYOA-books (I hadn't yet heard of IF), but I was never in an outgroup.

Just curious what kind of young people choose to go on IF-camps.
MathBrush, December 1, 2020 - Reply
There was an older autistic kid who is into Dungeons and Dragons and writing, a socially active older kid who uses tumblr a lot, a younger autistic kid, and a middle-schooler who is also into Dungeons and Dragons. My school is really small and doesn't have too many social outcasts, but it was more people into computer science and RPGs for sure!
Rovarsson, December 2, 2020 - Reply

It is just so cool to me that something like IF-Camp exists. Your personal idea I presume? Must be fun to organize too.

BTW, I just started A Beauty Cold and Austere. If I get stuck with the math, would you be my math tutor? Al-Kwarizmi's balances are solved, so is non-euclidean geometry. And I just discovered/invented 0.
MathBrush, December 2, 2020 - Reply
Haha, sounds good
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