Jon Doe Ė Wildcard Nucleus

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Flawed but fun James Bond riff, October 1, 2021

Jon Doe - Wildcard Nucleus is a British spy/detective story in the James Bond mode, involving murder, nuclear energy, retro computing technology, and slightly problematic gender relations. The writing isnít quite good enough for me to be entirely sold on the setting and atmosphere. The first character we meet being named Miss Bestbeforedates isnít a promising start, for example, and there are descriptions that make no sense (thereís a character who must be in his late fifties ďaccording to the cut of his suit and the pattern on his tieĒ - I didnít know tie patterns were quite that specific), but it has heart. A rather formidable vocabulary is sometimes in evidence: I came across alopecia and pomadised.

Itís quite playable, with many minor parser snags but nothing that causes excessive difficulty. A rather annoying one appears in a scene thatís otherwise quite fun, when youíre working with a certain model of computer that played a role in the history of IF, and you have to explicitly say TYPE X ON COMPUTER for every command. Even Dunnet did better than that.

There are a few good puzzles. I found at least one that probably should have been hinted better, but there are a couple of satisfying moments when you get good results from a course of action that would be unlikely in real life, but seem natural in the game. However, the puzzle and story end up being a little thin for the gameís length, with a few too many turns spent driving back and forth between several locations in your Jaguar.

On the whole, despite some problems, this was playable and fun, and a good addition to the comp.