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About the Story
Piloting a tea-zeppelin on Mars is a lonely job, but this run is nearly over and then you're due for a holiday. That's unless you get sucked into a puzzly adventure involving pterodactyls, robots, paternoster lifts and space elves!
Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2018
"The puzzles are simple by design but often clever; I especially enjoyed one involving whimsical clockwork animals that requires successive playthroughs but is perfectly fair."
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Number of Reviews: 2
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I enjoyed this game, which took me a few hours to complete (and one big part I missed out on because I didn't notice a certain room exit).
This game uses the same hybrid system as in Detectiveland and Draculaland, where you choose a noun to hold and various options become available.
The breadth of the puzzles is impressive, and the humor is great. A few times I was frustrated by not knowing what to do, but when I realized what was needed, I felt like the puzzles were fair.
The endings were nice, I think. It's good to have satisfying endings for a game.
Zeppelin Adventure takes the player into the Zeerust-filled world of classic SF. The era where there were canals on the moon, intrepid adventurers found themselves hurtling through space in a hollow cannonball and there were little green men visiting us in various shapes of silvery shining teaware.
(Intermezzo:Zeerust--TV Tropes. Yes, I'll wait...)
In this particular work a humble tea-transporting zeppelin-farer (On Mars!) is swooped to the relics of the Robot Free State by way of a swirly-vortex-thingamajiggy. (Cue Robby the Robot in various slightly depressing incarnations.) The zeppelin crashes and the adventure turns into a hunt for scattered engine parts.
The mood of the game is deeply captivating. Nostalgic, endearing, funny, with unsettling undertones and references to disturbing episodes of Earth history. The visual qualities of the interface (and the cover art!) work to enhance this atmosphere.
The gameplay of Zeppelin Adventure encapsulates a parser puzzlefest in a keyword-click engine, Robin Johnson's own Versificator2. This means that all possible actions are, in theory, laid out for the player. In practice however, the amount of stuff in the inventory quickly becomes so large that mechanically checking all the possibilities would be a lot more work than just leaning back and thinking about the solutions.
At times, I missed the unboundedness of typing parser input. I yearned to interact with the world more freely to tease out more background, and here and there I thought I had an alternate tack for an obstacle that was simply off-limits in the click-approach.
However, the game feels very tight and focused, and the click interface plays no small part in this. It directs the player's attention to the salient bits of information in the descriptions while letting the rest of the text carry the atmosphere without being distracting.
The puzzles themselves have a similar focused and concentrated quality. Many are not easy, requiring multiple steps and a thought-out plan of execution to finally get the engine part dangling before our protagonist's nose. But they all have a definite and logical path to the solution, even if the player is temporarily baffled by the intricacies of the order of steps.
Depending on what the player chooses to do once the Zeppelin's engine is repaired, there are multiple endings. I happened upon one where I could help the robots as well as my character.
|Starcross, by Dave Lebling|
Average member rating: (49 ratings)
Starcross, Infocom's science fiction mind-bender, launches you headlong into the year 2186 and the depths of space. And not without good reason, for you are destined to rendezvous with a gargantuan starship from the outer fringes of the...
|You Could Stay Here Forever, by KnightAnNi|
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
An eerie, 500-word interactive fiction created for the Neo-Twiny Jam. Revisit your childhood mall on the night before the bulldozers come to destroy it. Enjoy it while you can.
|Les Prophéties Perdues, by Louphole|
Average member rating: (1 rating)
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