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About the Story
""HERE BE DRAGONS" is what the rutter said, but the small island turned out to be free of those animals after all. Instead, you landed near a tiny village full of friendly natives.
17th Place - 5th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1999)
Highly linear little game about werewolves that sometimes plays more like a series of cut-scenes than conventional IF--as in, your actions lead to long, detailed scenes over which you have no control. The writing is good, and, other than a rather guess-the-verby moment, everything works fine, but the interactivity quotient is kinda low.
-- Duncan Stevens
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
[T]he advancement of the plot is enforced by meeting any deviation with either an abrupt ending to the game (usually via the death of the PC) or with some variant of "You can't do that." For example, there is one scene where the PC is in jail. The plot calls for him to go to sleep. Therefore, there is absolutely nothing you can do but go to sleep. Every other attempt at action is blocked, and the game gives intermittent hints along the lines of "There's nothing else to do but go to sleep." Mess around long enough, and the game puts the PC to sleep by force. Now, my question is this: if all I was going to be allowed to do is sleep, why even give me a prompt at all? Why not just say "You're hustled into a jail cell, and although you attempt to escape, your attempts are thwarted. Deciding there's nothing to do but sleep, you settle down into the uncomfortable bed, awakening the next day to a very strange scene..." Sometimes there's a perfectly reasonable answer to this question, something along the lines of wanting the player to identify with the PC's sense of imprisonment. But when every scene plays like this, and the game forces the player into really stupid decisions because it has made no provision for alternatives, the whole story starts to feel like a prison.
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"Only After Dark" is a short game that deals with werewolves, a theme I am rather partial to, but unfortunately I found it to be tragically flawed. Although it could make a nice little work, it was under-implemented and allowed for very minimal interaction. The plot unrolls without much input from the player. After a bit, I began to enjoy the story, but sadly, weird tics of the prose kept popping up that completely broke my immersion, such as it was, in the plot. For example, at one point, you are confronted with a pack of wolves "howling and hissing." Cats hiss. Snakes hiss. Wolves don't hiss.
If the gameworld was expanded to allow for more exploration and perhaps a modicum of influence on the plot, this could perhaps be a brief and gripping little game. Sadly, it is not.
In this game, you visit a small village and learn a terrible secret.
This game begins with a very unrealistic but mercifully short sex scene. As others have noted, the game accepts only one command in each scene to advance the plot.
The writing is vivid and descriptive, but the plot zigzags. The main path is implemented well. Overall, an interesting storyline with some potholes and weaker implementation.
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