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Stygian Dreams

by Giorgos Menelaou


(based on 3 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

An interactive exploration of death, and the acceptance of it.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 5, 2023
Current Version: 119
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: 3260A8EA-BF69-4B2E-959B-6460C737973C
TUID: p1ll4gfeepdt4ohu


Entrant, Back Garden - Spring Thing 2023


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Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A vorple exploration of greek mythology, May 15, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This is an experimental, somewhat unpolished game entered in the back garden of Spring Thing. As an experiment, I think it works, but it could use some touching up as a game/story itself.

The idea is that you, following the examples of Orpheus and Heracles, have descended into the underworld to follow after the woman you love.

Like other stories about the descent into Hades, you have a guide, Phos, a ball of light that follows you around, and who gives you a guided tour of the afterlife, showing you what happens to people there, etc.

This is written using Vorple, which allows multimedia and hyperlinks to be added to Inform. Most of the game, if not all, can be played by clicking links in the text, typing directional commands, and choosing menu options.

The art is Ai-generated, and looks very good; the model seems well-trained on the style used. Apparently some text is also AI, which makes sense; I had in my review notes that 'the text has strange errors at times, not like non-native English speakers, just strange placement of words'. So if it were AI-influenced, that would make sense.

The game doesn't outstay its welcome, and has some very nice moments. However, there are some stray typos, like double periods or the word 'sturggle' instead of struggle. Sometimes menu items for conversation still appeared even though I had left the area in question. But despite these rough edges, the core game is enjoyable.

Note that Vorple games such as this one don't currently work well if downloaded and played offline.

Greek myth parser/click combo, May 16, 2023
by Vivienne Dunstan (Dundee, Scotland)

This is a combined parser/click game, where you can interact with elements of the text as well as type in parser commands. The game is set in Ancient Greece, and sees you try to uncover what is going on, including a journey into Hades. I definitely recommend playing it online because you will get images there. The images don’t appear - or at least didn’t for me - using the downloaded game file and an offline interpreter.

There’s a lot to like. There’s a lyricalness to the storytelling. However being relatively unfamiliar with the setting and the ancient Greek myths I found things quite incomprehensible in places. I also had difficulty understanding the geography and the directions. For example early on I was trying every direction to move things on, even though the game suggested I was following a clue character. This repeated trying west/north/east/south broke the immersion for me. I think clearer clueing would help.

I got to an ending where I think (Spoiler - click to show)my character died, after dreaming of his wife for many years. Which was satisfying, but overly abrupt. I’d like to see that smoothed. I would also have liked to see some after game notes that you could read after finishing. There are also a lot of unimplemented scenery objects that are mentioned in the text but don’t respond to EXAMINE X. A fuller and richer implementation covering those would be well worthwhile

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