Special Detective Agent

by Pradeep Baral profile

2008

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Number of Reviews: 5
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
A bug-ridden first attempt, January 26, 2009
by Rose (New Zealand)

I hate writing bad reviews. But frankly, in this case I don't seem to have an option. This game seems to have been written for a university project, which is great: IF is vastly underrated in general, and the more people who write games the better off the community is.

First of all, I'm not trying to discourage the author from writing more IF. I sincerely hope that the author will practice more and continue to write -- if nobody ever wrote for fear that their writing wouldn't be perfect, nothing would ever be written. Practice makes perfect. However bad the game mechanics, I think the enthusiasm of the author shows some promise, and wish him luck with future works.

The standard commands "about", "help" and "credits" turn up no responses. The game constantly breaks the fourth wall trying to hold the player's hand. I did appreciate the attempt to prevent the game from becoming unwinnable by clearly stating objectives, but there are subtler ways of doing it then blatantly mentioning the INVENTORY command in game text. Guess-the-verb problems are frequent; scenery is unimplemented; punctuation and grammar mistakes are rampant; plot information is included in room descriptions; exits aren't mentioned in room descriptions. I quit when a NPC started talking about an item I hadn't seen anywhere and couldn't locate.

I would recommend a revision of the game to the author: if you tidy up the game mechanics, fix the bugs, provide help commands and clean up the grammar and punctuation, I would be willing to revise my review, and I believe other reviewers would also be willing. I would also recommend that with future works, you ask a competent IF player to beta-test it for you. It makes a world of difference.

At present, as a game, Special Detective Agent certainly does not shine. It is, however, a start. If you want to know whether it is worth playing, then the answer is no. If the author wants to know whether to have another shot at it, the answer is yes. One star.


Comments on this review

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Rose, January 26, 2009 - Reply
That is correct, that's what I meant. (Spoiler - click to show)There's a room which includes a conversation in the description that's repeated every time you type LOOK. Sorry about the confusion.
Ghalev, January 26, 2009 - Reply
Ah, okay. That makes sense; thank you.

I finally had to download the game just to see what it was about. None of the existing reviews (or the basic database entry) mentioned the plot or the point, the title is suitably vague, and with all the attention I just had to find out what the heck the game was trying to be (let alone whether or not it really fails so terribly) :)

The pain began when I tried to ANSWER PHONE and EXAMINE PHONE (or CELL, or CELLPHONE, or CELL PHONE ...) Ouch.

The pain didn't last long after that. QUIT works just fine, fortunately :(
Rose, January 27, 2009 - Reply
I had exactly the same problem. The cellphone is in the bedroom; there's a unmentioned exit to the east to get there.

That's a problem with my reviews; I tend to forget to explain the plot. :-)
Ghalev, January 26, 2009 - Reply
I don't understand the part about "plot information is included in room descriptions." Just about every game I've ever played includes some kind of plot information in room descriptions on occasion. :/
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