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3 people found the following review helpful:
An innovative fantasy parser game which reads like a novel, February 3, 2016
Like the more recent experimental work Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory, My Angel strives to make a transcript of the game read like a book. Error messages are turned off, diddling around too long makes the story progress by itself, room descriptions are varied so they don't repeat enough, and it is written in first person present tense.
When I first played this game a year or more ago, I lost interest and stopped because I couldn't tell how well I was doing or know what to do next. This time, I just went with instinct and tried obvious commands and I beat the game without hints. The author's notes are very interesting, as much or more than the game itself.
The story is about a couple with unusual abilities running away from a group, and then later exploring ruins.
Jon Ingold is really a master of innovation. Looking over his career, it seems he was really trying over and over to find something that could draw in people outside of traditional IF, and he finally succeeded with the wildly popular 80 Days. This game is interesting in light of that history as well.
7 people found the following review helpful:
Ethereal Narrative... And Yet., August 14, 2012
Ingold's storytelling here weaves a magical world and an emotive story, with something of a twist. The central innovation here is that it is written in the style of a novel, with the player's inputs remaining outside of the first-person text. The slightly expressionist style gives a good sense of character, and we can feel strongly the protagonist's love for his partner, and their inner motivations and desires. However, the actual backstory felt somewhat muddled, and by the time the twist came it did not have the impact a more clear narrative might have.
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Despite the fact that the author implemented multiple solutions to certain puzzles, and side puzzles that one need not complete, I also felt that I was mostly following a story on rails. The majority of the action proceeds via simply thinking about things, or even by typing 'look'. It did not really matter whether I puzzle-solved or not, and the few essential puzzles felt too simple to get past. Obviously, interactive fiction does not rely on puzzles, but it does rely on some sense of interactivity, and I felt this was somewhat weak - what I chose did not have any impact on what happened, particularly.
There was also one small niggle I had regarding the inventory system - although my inventory was never overly full nor even that important, I found it rather annoying to have to check my satchel separately from my general inventory.
Overall: great atmosphere, strong writing, excellent sense of romance, but narrative and gameplay were ultimately not as satisfying as they should have been.