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While The Cove does contain specific puzzles and a list of tasks to accomplish, it's not precisely a text adventure; rather, you live through a pivotal moment in the protagonist's life. The goal of the game is to experience the environment as thoroughly as possible.
The text is expansive and rather poignant. The game's one or two puzzles are for the most part self-evident in their solution, and most of the points are scored by simply looking at the right bits of scenery to trigger your character's memories.
The Cove isn't meant to be a game, and it shows, but it is an excellent example of how a story that would be hopelessly banal in a standard format can be compelling and emotional in IF.
-- R. Serena Wakefield