Unfortunate

by Jess Elizabeth Reed

2021

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A complex and vivid parser game with active NPCs but parser hangups, October 6, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 1 hour

This is a game with solid writing and design but shaky implementation, what one would expect from someone with a good writing background that is just now breaking into Inform 7. On Twitter I see that the author is an MFA student in game design, and the game's ABOUT text says it's a demonstration game, so that would all check out.

You play as a young would-be fortune teller in the house of a professional fortune teller. They dare you to tell the fortune of everyone in the house correctly.

There are 7 people in the house, and you can assign each of them 3 different fortunes.

Once you've done so, after a certain amount of time, they start interacting with each other, and after a certain time limit is reached, the game automatically ends and you are evaluated on how accurate your fortunes are.

Conversation works well in this game. But the complex scene-changing machinery is problematic. At one point I was in the closet and saw dramatic happenings in the room, with somebody storming out. Then I left the closet and the room, and saw the exact same scene, this time from outside the room.

More egregiously, on multiple playthroughs, after the first cutscene, I tried talking to Lux and then became stuck in the kitchen, with no way to leave. Any attempt to exit resulted in no text at all.

I wasn't able to determine if any actions you take besides fortune telling matter. It seems like it might; there are a few random objects scattered about. But with the bugs it's kind of hard to tell.

This game is far better than most projects made for MFA or BA degrees in game design (although there was a really nice Choicescript one recently). No testers are credited, and I think that having several more testers would have really pushed this to 'excellent' territory.