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About the Story
Trapped in an old, abandoned house, you must solve the mystery that has cursed the house for a hundred years... and escape with your life!
50th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
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Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
The House on Sycamore Lane is a very traditional haunted house mystery. It’s also riddled with bugs and typos. Despite this, I actually quite enjoyed it. None of the bugs I noticed were game breaking, and they also did not stand in the way of solving the puzzles. The puzzles were generally really nice, albeit a tad easy. What I liked about them were how they were integrated in the story, that they always felt reasonable and that they give a nice flow to playing the game. The story was nothing special, but decent enough and provided a certain level of immersion, enough to make it enjoyable. Some extensive testing and a good update could turn The House on Sycamore Lane into a rather good piece of IF.
From the start it is obvious this is going to be a fairly standard, beginner IF. Room descriptions are sparse, what to do is almost always obvious. Still, I was hoping that it would be a fun ride. Unfortunately, there was not nearly enough beta-testing. Spelling and grammar mistakes abound. At one point you’re told if you have the right tool you can pry some nails and yet the game doesn’t understand the verb "pry." There are several other unimplemented synonyms. The game’s worst sin, however, is that this is supposed to be suspenseful yet you are frequently told how you should be feeling (e.g. “you are on edge”). As always, show, don’t tell.
This has the skeleton of a well-designed entry into the horror genre. The backstory is interesting and several of the puzzles are fun. But first it needs a rewrite.
For a beginning IF player, this is an excellent intro to the genre. All items are used and make sense. The map is just complex enough to keep one guessing and navigating, though not too overwhelming. Simple, fast, and a great experience!
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