Escape In The Dark

by Owen Parish

2010

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Number of Reviews: 3
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
A short game based solely around puzzles, September 15, 2010
by Bernie (Fredericksburg, VA)

"Short" is a bit misleading. The walkthrough contains only 20 commands. However, the puzzles can make the game take a substantial length of time.

Generally, the puzzles are fair and since there are few objects to manipulate, a simple trial and error will begin to put you on the right track for solving most of them. However, the parser does create troubles, and since I've never programmed a game I don't know whether they are the fault of the author or of the system. (Spoiler - click to show)The big trouble comes from the verb "throw". The game recognizes "throw at" but not "throw to" and the general verb "throw" results in the pc simply dropping things. I was fortunate that I tried "throw at" immediately after "throw to", otherwise I never would have solved one of the puzzles. After encountering this trouble, I spent a heavy amount of time fussing with alternatives for "drop out" in an attempt to solve another puzzle. Such parser issues can definitely throw even a seasoned player off track.

I had to consult the walkthrough to solve one of the puzzles (Spoiler - click to show)(the puzzle of how to get the prisoner to talk to me), and although the solution is something that seasoned players might try, it's definitely not something that a first-time player would think to do. I *might* have tried it eventually, but consulted the walkthrough instead so I could get on with the rest of the game.

And upon consulting the walkthrough I discovered that there wasn't a "rest of the game". I generally don't mind short games. I just wish the game had told me in the introduction that it was short. There is nothing noteworthy about the game except for the puzzles (with the exception of the response to xyzzy). Thus, the fun of the game lies solely in solving the puzzles, and if I had known this I would have stuck with the game longer before turning to the walkthrough.