Number of Reviews: 3
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I may be biased but..., January 27, 2023
DISCLAIMER: I beta-tested this game and I have a passion for old school games UK style, especially games by Larry Horsfield (found my way back to IF through Axe of Kolt in 2016)
I have come to realize that this kind of game is only for a limited group of parser players. The big emphasis on hidden objects (LOOK UNDER and BEHIND, X WALL etc) is not everyone's cup of tea. It has some advanced puzzles too but this is a significant part of the game.
This is the fourth sci-fi game where you take on the role of Mike Erlin. This time you have to investigate a research base where the crew has gone missing. There is an inventory limit but you will soon find a rucksack so it is hardly a problem. I think the game would be even better without e.g. inventory limits but it doesn't really bother me as you will quickly find the remedy.
I think that the parser is pretty good, though there may be a few bugs/guess-the-verb issues I haven't noticed, which can happen in such a big game.
I think the writing gives a thrilling atmosphere. It isn't world class literature but that isn't the point. After all this is a game that is here to entertain.
Cruelty rating: Cruel
If we take the zarfian cruelty scale literally, I would say that the game is cruel as you can proceed without having found all objects and then you can't get back without those objects so save often (multiple save files). Then it is probably not a big issue but you should be aware that this might happen.
There are a several good puzzles in this one. But you should know that finding objects might be 20% of the puzzles. Besides examine, you must search, look under, behind and move stuff.
This is a game where story and puzzles go very well together so the final product is better than the individual parts. But as mentioned at the top, this game is not everyone's cup of tea as finding objects (LOOK UNDER, BEHIND etc) is a big part of the game.
PS: During ParserComp 2022 a very buggy version was available for online play. Fortunately, these serious bugs have been fixed. Looking forward to a better web player for Adrift - I hope...