PataNoir

by Simon Christiansen profile

Mystery
2011

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(10)
4 star:
(22)
3 star:
(12)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 44
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- Hellzon (Sweden), July 3, 2021

- Pinstripe (Chicago, Illinois), December 30, 2020

- Zape, June 5, 2020

- kierlani, March 27, 2020

- ImaginaryTalkingRabbit, October 2, 2019

- kevan, November 14, 2018

- Stas, April 14, 2018

- ArchDelacy, November 2, 2017

- Wanderlust, August 2, 2017

- Laney Berry, May 15, 2017

- hoopla, July 13, 2016

- Aryore, March 26, 2016

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A unique take on wordplay and simile in a detective game, February 3, 2016

Patanoir is a wordplay game with a unique game mechanic: you can take and place similes. If someone is cold as ice, for example, you can take the ice, leaving a warmer, friendlier person. You can then drop the ice somewhere else, making the atmosphere in a room cold as ice.

The story itself is frankly unimportant. It is shoehorned in simply because the detective genre uses a lot of similes. Seemingly tense conversations can be left and returned to hundreds of turns later with no problems.

The game is mid-length, requiring a few hours to play. I found it very enjoyable to walk around with pockets full of similes, looking for a place to drop them.

The only game really like it is Counterfeit Monkey or possibly Ad Verbum, but each is different enough from this game to make it unique.


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
Patanoir: Like Chocolate Wine, September 22, 2015
by Joey Jones (UK)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2011

The following review was for the original competition game. I replayed the later release and it easily deserves 4 stars (4.5 even?) and so I've adjusted my rating up accordingly.

Patanoir is like chocolate flavoured wine: interesting, unique, not to everyone's tastes and too much of it is likely to give you a headache. But either way you'll be pleased you tried it.

I probably played PataNoir for more than two hours on and off. It was good enough for me to bother finishing but not good enough for me not to resort to using the walkthrough a few times. The name 'PataNoir' is taken from the word 'pataphor'. Some people might object that a pataphor is a metaphor but the game deals in similes, but my contention after studying the various philosophy of language arguments about metaphor is that a metaphor is just a truncated simile. So I approve of the name.

I love the concept of the game: similes coming to life such that they can be manipulated to solve puzzles. There were some issues in the implementation. A lot of it made me smile. The writing is very sparse, similes aside, but sometimes it works. Simon is obviously going for the Chandler style patter and occasionally he gets it right.

The game was blessedly free of typos and grammar mistakes. My overall impression of PataNoir was that it's a neat idea, mostly well implemented- with some puzzles overhinted at and some nearing impossible without the (mostly excellent) in-game hint mechanism. This is surely a sign that the puzzles were hard to hint for as they weren't very naturalistic, which I suppose is an inherent danger in a surreal game. I'm glad the game was made, and it's exactly the sort of game that lends itself to non-IF players as a good example of the possibilities of IF. I wouldn't recommend it first, but then I wouldn't recommend it last.

Note: this review is based on older version of the game.

Great Fun, Nice Story, May 18, 2015
by Tristano (Italy)

PataNoir is an unusual type of IF game. I can't really say more without spoiling the game experience. So ... just open it's story file, turn off the tutorial mode and enjoy it as it comes. Within a short time you'll realize what makes it different from other works of IF.
It can be solved in a couple of hours, and there is a good (and cleverly devised) hint system if you run out of ideas.


- DustyCypress (Hong Kong), March 8, 2015

- Floating Info, December 15, 2014

- verityvirtue (London), November 20, 2014

- EllaClass, November 5, 2014

- pirkil, June 19, 2014

- dacharya64, June 1, 2014

- wateringcan, May 28, 2014

- IxPrefect, December 31, 2013

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Clever gameplay, solid writing, and engaging story, November 19, 2013
by streever (America)

Despite some (very minor) hiccoughs, this is a strong game.

I didn't play the previous releases, but started with the open beta of release 5. A solid effort, the gameplay is fun and novel, although at times I did try each object until I got to the right one. The experimenting didn't detract from the overall experience, however, and I never felt stuck.

Some of the sequences were stronger and flowed together better. Some of the simile-based puzzles early on felt a little shoehorned or simple, but they improve substantially as the game goes on. In particular, everything after (Spoiler - click to show)your first confrontation with Camino was strong, challenging, but fair.

The help system is clever and useful, although it may over-simplify some parts of the game, so I'd suggest not resorting to it as quickly as the tutorial might suggest. A few puzzles that I could have solved on my own were rendered easy by the use of it, and it felt a little bit like cheating.

The denouement had a surprising last twist--although it felt very straight-forward, there was a well-done plot twist your player could create. It doesn't substantially alter the game, but it is a hidden choice that really engaged my mind and made me consider the morality of my character, the story, and the other participants. It also made me wonder what I'd do in real life--all in all, a very well done example of choice in a narrative.

I highly recommend this game on the strength of it's writing, gameplay, and novelty.


- N.C. Hunter Hayden, October 30, 2013


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