ALICE BLUE

by Chris Selmys

2019

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Obscurity and fairy tales, October 18, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game is obscure in many senses of the word. First, it is very hard to run, intended only to run on a linux system. I was able to play it following helpful instructions at http://intfiction.org/t/reviews-for-beta-tested-games/43016/7.

Second, it's obscure because the writing is deliberately vague. Everything is allusions, none of which (maybe one?) is about Alice in Wonderland. Most of the allusions seem to be to Hansel and Gretel or Cinderella.

Third, the way forward is obscure. It is difficult to discover how movement works, difficult to find out how a room is finished, and difficult to go on to the next room. Some basics of movement: (Spoiler - click to show)Typing EXITS shows you the exits. You can move with N, E, S, and W as abbreviations. I took to the source code first and walkthrough later. The source code encourages you to look at it.

I encountered a bad ending that made me get stuck. It was when I (Spoiler - click to show)became a tree. I beat it by typing, not (Spoiler - click to show)run, which was the highlighted term, but (Spoiler - click to show)running away.

Occasionally I used the source to type the right word to move on if I got completely stuck.

One note: all of the major keywords (that give you special results) are (Spoiler - click to show)HTML color codes.

The fiddliness of interaction put me off a bit, and the game either has a few bugs or only has bugs because I played it on the wrong system. Otherwise I was impressed with the design and descriptiveness and would be interested in playing again.