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Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1.0
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 2822
32nd Place - 11th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2005)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Santoonie Corp. was an interesting group in the early days of IF, and there are debates about whether the games released under their name are really there's or not. Suffice it to say, the games released under their name are poor quality.
This one is better than the other Amissville's, but still dreadful. There are TADS errors I've never even seen before for trivial actions. There is a fairly expansive map with some interesting scenes, but the scenes are built into the text description, so typing 'look' will repeat large chunks of action.
The story is nonsensical, something about hiding out in the woods and looking for weapons for your friend while being on run from the cops. Half of items are portable, the other half (often identical things to the ones you can carry) are 'too burdensome to carry'.
This is not the worst game I've ever played.
Amissville II is simply disastrous. The coding skills here are awful, and the mangled English middle-school level at best. Those are harsh words, I admit, so let's provide evidence for them.
As far as coding goes, there are knapsacks which you can't open (but which magically open once you pick them up), a radio that you start off holding but you can't use, and characters that talk to you, but whom you can't talk to. Who you are is never revealed, because examining yourself returns no useful information whatsoever. Examining the newspaper reveals a graphic of a newspaper that the author didn't even finish creating. You get the idea.
The text omits apostrophes, features weird spacing, uses a strange character for the letter "Y", forgets verbs, misspells words, omits periods, and graces the screen with run-on sentences. Note: these are not occasional issues. They occur in every single room. Of course, there's profanity as well.
The feel is some drugged mix of environmentalism, down home humor, and general geekiness, strung together with attempts at Romanticism that result in an extremely amateurish pastiche. The fact that the game is massive doesn't really help, although that might appeal to players who like exploring. Don't get me wrong; Amissville II has a distinctive feel. The author succeeded there. However, distinction without quality is infamy, and Amissville II is infamous.
You can detect a certain enthusiastic earnestness in this game, like that of the late Paul Panks. I don't want to trod unnecessarily upon the author, but the craft of the game was almost nonexistent. Amissville II has the look and feel of a game that was coded in a week, start-to-finish, if not in a shorter period of time. I played it hoping that it was some marginal improvement over what I'd read of Amissville, but if this is an improvement, then I shudder. That's what evinces my stinging words -- the fact that the author just didn't care.