by Kent Tessman

Slice of life

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Number of Ratings: 5
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1-7 of 7

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Incomplete , December 31, 2022
by Cena (Minneapolis, MN)
Related reviews: hugo, 1997

'm very conflicted about Down. On the one hand, this is my second KT game (not counting Tetris) and I really like his writing. I like the ideas of his games, the way he has of evoking a particular setting, a mood, a genre convention.

But. Beyond the first puzzle, this was terribly clued. Lots of verb-guessing, reading the author's mind, and general not-sure-what-to-do-isms. On the one hand, I could also complain about the relative barrenness of the map; very little is implemented. And yet, as in Spur, KT manages to convey a lot with a little. So I can picture myself (YOU) in the tiny map, the black smoke rising in the late afternoon air, the people huddled in their little groups of misery.

What I can't do is interact with all of that very much. This is a static piece, regardless of the finale. Having sat with it for a week, it feels like an outline, almost, rather than a complete game.

There's a disjointedness in Down's puzzles and set scenes - both in terms of logic and implementation - which hasn't resolved over time. There's a hole in the center of it al, an emptiness; I almost feel like I'm watching ghosts relive the scene of their demise.

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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

[T]he story is worth experiencing, walkthrough or not. The author presents a very realistic and highly compelling puzzle-solving situation: you are the survivor of a plane crash. You must help your fellow passengers and somehow prevent the plane from killing you all when it explodes, as it inevitably will. This situation is a natural one for interactive fiction: you must traverse a limited area, under pressure from a time limit, solving very real puzzles with dozens of lives in the balance. Even though there are some problems with the prose and puzzles, it's still a memorable feeling to crawl through the wreckage, a situation made even more evocative by the fact that it really could happen to most anyone.

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- Edo, July 21, 2021

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An early hugo game about survival after a catastrophe, July 1, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a short, loosely timed game about waking up after some sort of accident and then trying to help yourself and others before time runs out.

The writing is interesting, and the game feels fairly polished. However, it really suffers from 'guess what the author is thinking' syndrome. Some of the actions are completely unmotivated. However, playing around on my own was fairly fun.

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- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), May 30, 2012

Baf's Guide

Since this is a small game, and finding out what happened is an important plot point, all I'll say about the premise is that it's a real-life emergency situation in which you play hero despite your own injuries. Dramatic, but a bit buggy and low on detail. Once past a certain point, your required actions and their motivations become far from obvious.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

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