Nightmare Adventure

by Laurence Emms and Vibha Laljani


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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Home-brew parser, March 28, 2021
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)

Nightmare Adventure comes an an executable file that has to be opened, at least under Linux, in the terminal. A bit weird, but it works. Unfortunately, the home-brew parser seems to have been built in complete ignorance of conveniences that have been standard for, I don’t know, three or four decades? You cannot abbreviate “examine” to “x”, “inventory” to “i” or “go east” to “e” or even “go e”. You cannot refer to the ruby amulet as “amulet”, but have to type out the entire name. I tried to wear or drop the amulet, but was unable to do so. What doesn’t help is that “verbs” gives you a gigantic list of all the synonyms of every verb. (Friendly advice to the developers: players don’t need to know synonyms! They only need to know which base verbs are supported.) Also, there’s no save/restore/undo. So why exactly are we using this system instead of Inform or TADS or Quest or Adrift?

The game itself is rather sparsely implemented, but clued well enough that I proceeded through it without much trouble. I (Spoiler - click to show)walked through the village, collected amulets, entered the towers, visited all the rooms, and ended up in a dream world among the stars. And then: instant death. In a game which does not support save/restore or undo. I’m afraid that equaled instantly losing this player.

In a sense it’s impressive that a home-brew system works this well, but the designers/authors really need to play some modern parser games in order to get a good sense of what are and what are not acceptable standards today.