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About the Story
So this is the first game I've ever written, save for one I wrote just to teach myself how to use Inform 7. I'm still learning, obviously. Over the winter break, I saw how hard my sister works to be a working parent. This game is a tribute to all working parents everywhere.
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As slice-of-life games go, this game has the potential to be a nice entry. Potential.
The idea of simulating the complex morning routine of a working parent struggling to get out the door on time is not a bad premise. The author demonstrates an appreciation of the difficulty of this lifestyle, which comes through in a few wry turns of phrase as well as in the structure of the game. That this Sarcastic Mommy flavor isn't sprinkled more liberally throughout the descriptions (especially in the refusal messages, which are mostly boilerplate), is disappointing.
There are many minor defects in the descriptive text. It is often impossible to tell what item is where (e.g., if the player has dropped something somewhere unexpected) or what state James is in (e.g., he is said to be asleep after the player wakes him).
More significantly, it is often difficult to hit on exactly the right action or sequence of actions required to accomplish something which should be quite simple mechanically. The challenge of a game like this, centered around beating the clock, should be how to organize the series of actions most efficiently, not reading the author's mind to determine what verb to use. Thus, it would do no harm to the challenge to provide cues in the descriptions and refusal messages. Granted, in a number of places this has already been done. It's unnecessarily coy for the game to be vague about what is preventing the player from putting James in the car at the end.
With some TLC and spit shine, this game could really be worth playing. But it's not there yet!
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