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About the Story
EctoComp 2023 Petite Mort entry
19th Place, La Petite Mort - English - ECTOCOMP 2023
Number of Reviews: 2
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This game has me at a bit of a loss. I'm a big fan of Andrew Schultz and probably have had more total fun playing all his games than almost all authors over the last decade.
But this one just doesn't do it for me. It has an amusing start (reminding me of Five Nights at Freddies), but then it got bogged down.
It uses rhyming pairs; each room name has two words in it, and you must find things that rhyme with those two words and which also are alliterative.
There were two problems for me. The first is that progress seemed to require hitting all of the rhyming pairs the author thought of (at least, some enemies weren't counted as 'defeated' until you had done so), and second, the game didn't recognize a very large number of rhyming pairs that would logically work. This is almost certainly due to the short timeframe of the game (4 hours), so as a speed IF this game is actually quite remarkable, but as a game in general I found it less successful.
The second thing is bugs; the downloaded and online versions acted differently, with the downloaded version not accepting the command that gives access to the east and west areas. The online version didn't accept one command in the walkthrough, and the final area could be accessed directly from the beginning of the game if guessed correctly.
Outside of those issues, the game is pretty great; I love the idea of having a showdown with multiple mech monstrosities. Literally the one thing that could take this from a (for me) two star game to a 4 or 5 star game is more polish, but, alas, that is exactly what this specific competition proscribes.
This was my introduction to Andrew's rhyme game series, Prime Pro-Rhyme Row, and it took me a while to "get" it - as in, I went to download the walkthrough because I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. Like other games in this series (which I have not played as of the writing of this review), the gist of the game is to... make rhymes. Word plays is at the centre of it all, with commands having to match the name of the room to progress, rather than your run-of-the-mill parser commands (examine, take, etc...).
On top of the quirky gameplay, the premise of the game is very silly, which makes sense considering the commands you need to input to solve the "puzzles" and progress through the game. The writing, in the rooms and the responses to commands, is pretty funny as well!
Though quite difficult*, the alliterations are pretty fun - see the title of the game for an example. And if you love rhymes and puns, this is probably a joy to go through. If you are not good at those, or if English is your second language, it will not be a simple walk in the park.
*cries in ESL, it was so freakin' hard.
Since it was done in such short amount of time, the only help you will find will be in the external walkthrough (if you don't want to keep guessing forever). Though, I did run into an issue where a command would not work, blocking the trigger for the next "event" to clear.
Final score: 14+1/23