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About the Story
You are nineteen-year-old Tina Tessler: missing father, dead mother, and plagued by nightmares of things you canít quite remember. You just won a ticket to see your favorite band. So, pack your bags and catch your space flight. Youíre on your way to the Space Punk Moon Tour.
65th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Space Punk Moon Tour is a long parser game written using the Quest system. You play as nineteen-year-old Tina, who lives with her grandmother after the death of her mother and the disappearance of her father. Tina has just won tickets to the moon to see her favorite band in concert.
I found the game a bit daunting at first. There are A LOT of objects in the first two rooms. In addition, I quickly discovered that the game needs more polish. There are several reasonable actions you can try that don't do anything, some objects aren't fully implemented, and I had guess-the-verb problems on multiple occasions.
I was on the verge of giving up (there's no walkthrough), and then I checked some of the other reviews. Ade McT indicated that he had (Spoiler - click to show)made it onto the spaceship within two hours, so I thought I would give it another try. And I'm glad I did. The story gets more interesting - particularly with the quirky characters. For instance, (Spoiler - click to show)there's Tina's former coworker she meets on the subway who is on his way to a job interview but who also, oddly, has had his shoes stolen. Then there's TJ, Tina's boss (I think) who wants her to meet him in a sketchy room in the Underground and deliver a mysterious package for him. These guys, Tina, and her friend Jantasha all know each other and have a history with each other.
There are also a couple of strange wire collectors in the subway, a woman with whom Tina bonds in the bathroom over feminine hygiene products, and an alien working the space flight information desk. Even Tina's grandmother, who won't let Tina touch her hot chocolate, was someone I found kind of endearing.
In addition, there's a subplot about a fire years ago in a factory owned by Cobri, a major corporation that seems to control everything. I'm wondering if this will tie in to the story behind Tina's father's disappearance.
In general, the fact that Tina appears to be from a lower socioeconomic class than you normally get for an IF protagonist makes her more interesting to play.
In the end, I made it to (Spoiler - click to show)the second day on the spaceship before stopping. I hope sometime to return to the game and finish it.
The graphics are charming and remind me some of those in Sierra's 1980s graphics/parser hybrid games. (Space Punk Moon Tour is pure parser, though; the graphics are there to enhance the experience - not to interact with.)
You can also check your phone in each location, which is a neat feature. "Read News" checks your news feed for something new, "Check Calendar" summarizes your major goals for that location, and you can also text multiple people.
In addition, there are decisions you can make (or not make) in earlier locations that affect what you can do later or what happens later. I didn't play far enough to determine whether failing to do something would lock me out of victory, but it was interesting to see those events play out or not play out. For example, (Spoiler - click to show)if you don't text TJ on the subway then you can't meet him in the underground, which might change your options for the party on the spaceship. Also, I didn't say anything to my grandmother about the bad milk in the refrigerator before I left, and while I was on the spaceship Jantasha texted me to say that Grandma had gotten sick and had gone to the hospital. I wonder if that would not have happened if I had warned Grandma.
Overall, while Space Punk Moon Tour could have used a lot more testing and polish, I found it to be a creative, original, and charming work of IF.
This game is cool. Itís illustrated and animated. Itís big. It has some real time events, great worldbuilding, and rich settings.
Unfortunately, it suffers in implementation. There are huge numbers of implemented items. Actions can be difficult to guess. I constantly found myself struggling against the parser and the system, not understanding what was wrong.
I recommend checking out the first few scenes to get a feel for this interesting game.
The pictures are nice, thatís for sure, but three things made Space Punk Moon Tour hard to play for me. First, the immense number of objects. I thought it would just be the first room, but then the second room printed out a whole list of things as well. Every object takes up some of the playerís mental space, and this is really pushing it. This is aggravated by the second point: lack of implementation. Many of the objects donít have a descriptionÖ so why do they exist? Or you canít do obvious actions with them, such as climbing the bed or the Air Fresh -Ė the latter being a big thing clearly right under the cat, and so the apparently obvious solution to the getting-the-cat-puzzle. Sometimes, even actions that the game expressly tells you to perform are not implemented: if you open the Air Fresh, the game tells you to read its inner contents with your phone, but none of the four objects inside the Air Fresh can be read with your phone.
But the third and main problem is the constant battle with the parser. Exchanges like this were fairly typical of my play experience:
get on bed
I canít see that.
I donít understand your command.
You canít climb it.
get in bed
I canít see that.
take science book
Do you want to pack it?
I donít see that.
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