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Sun And Moon

by David Brain

2002

Web Site

(based on 3 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Not a text adventure -- closer to an alternate reality game, with puzzles strewn across various web sites, comprising diaries by fictional characters, press releases by fictional companies, and so on. It appears to have disappeared from the web, but is cataloged here for historical purposes. Its former home was at www.scurra.com.

You can have a look at how was the concept on this archived website: http://web.archive.org/web/20030207081746/www.scurra.com/intro.htm


Game Details


Awards

21st Place - 8th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2002)

Editorial Reviews

SynTax
It is a web-based game, played online via your web browser. However, it isn't a traditional game by any means, more like an online detective mystery. Essentially the method of play is the same as browsing the web; the locations being numerous different web-sites set up by the author, mirroring real life. Game web pages have a Sun and Moon footer line, real life web pages don't, so you can tell what is real and what's in the game. [...]

And so you are off, trying to put two and two together, obtaining passwords, wandering through a corporate web site picking up information. There is a maze, with a difficult but logical solution, but not very rewarding at the end. You need to be able to solve cryptic crosswords as well. Generally, the puzzles are pretty difficult. It has more the atmosphere of those graphical puzzle games that I see the folks at the convention engrossed in. But the puzzles are not graphical, if you see what I mean.

-- John Ferris
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

What I did see provided an interesting story and some neat puzzles, but not what I would call an immersive fictional experience. Rather than being a fully realized piece of web IF itself, Sun And Moon feels more like a signpost to some very interesting territory ahead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An early ARG experiment, July 13, 2024
by Mike Russo (Los Angeles)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2002

[This review was written and originally posted on the raif newsgroups at the conclusion of the 2002 IFComp]

A year or so ago, Electronic Arts launched an online game called Majestic; the premise was that players stumbled across some kind of conspiracy, and gathered clues by visiting web pages and talking to chat-bots. Sun and Moon is very much in the same mold, although it thankfully refrains from many of Majestic's excesses, which included leaving threatening messages on player's answering machines and presenting clues in awful full-motion video. Rather, Sun and Moon presents a traditional work of IF, involving such genre staples as a scavenger hunt and navigating a maze, without the intermediary of a parser. Instead, everything is spread across half a dozen web pages, with a few prompts for passwords the only time any typing is required.

As an attempt to push the boundaries of the medium, it works quite well, although, having run into the idea before, I didn't feel the same sense of novelty the author apparently did. Judged merely on the content of the game and not its format, however, Sun and Moon is less than original. There's a maze with a twist, a crossword puzzle, and a word-game; these three puzzles make up the bulk of the game. Now, I tend to dislike mazes and crosswords, and the word-game, which requires the player to guess a name based on a sentence (e.g. a testament makes me = William), had me gnashing my teeth in frustration. Granted, there were clever twists to the puzzles - the maze and the crossword ultimately give you two passwords, but you don't actually need to make it to the end of the maze or solve the crossword to figure them out. I gladly took the easy way out and did only the minimum required to finish the crossword (which basically consisted of looking up lines from Shakespeare's The Tempest), and felt an overwhelming sense of relief at not having to slog through the name word-game, which it turns out was optional. The most enjoyable gameplay moment I had was jumping around in the maze until I found the end by typing URLs in directly rather than following the links. With that said, it's my own fault I didn't enjoy the game much - for players with different sensibilities, Sun and Moon provides some devious fun in an original package. But a maze by any other name has me scrambling for the walkthrough just as quick.

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