The Island of Infinity

by Alex Freeman

Time Travel
2003

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Baf's Guide


Oh dear. Such a large game and such a great title... yet so little substance. Or inspiration. Or talent. Unhappily, The Island of Infinity is not a wonderland of exciting diversity, but a boring, flawed, and repetitive wasteland, only brightened by the occassional pun. It wants to be Myst, but it just isn't.

What's wrong, you ask? Well, almost none of the over 200 locations specify where the valid exits are. Over a third of those locations are named "The Open", designating an open area of no particular interest; in fact, very few of the locations are interesting at all. Descriptions of objects and locations are annoyingly brief, uncolorful, and rarely helpful. Likewise, support for synonyms and for alternative command syntaxes is also in short supply. Some objects are missing. Puzzles are lacklustre and mostly of the math geek variety, eg: what's the next number in the Fibonacci series. The code is buggy and untested; for example, several actions that award points can be performed over and over again, gaining you even more points. And much of the story simply doesn't make much sense. When you do get story, it comes out in one gigantic screen-filling paragraph: a severe contrast to the game's usual brevity.

The worst flaw, though, is near the end. It's a pure read-author's-mind moment where you are expected to ask a particular type of question. Even if you guess the right question, you probably won't guess the right syntax without disassembling the code. (rot-13 the answer: fnl "jvyy lbh fnl ab")

-- David Welbourn

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