Ariadne in Aeaea

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Light-hearted parser game in a Greek setting with well-written characters, December 9, 2016
by dgtziea
Related reviews: IF Comp 2016

Semi-historical (Greek) parser game, not too long; light-hearted, well written. You're a young member of the royal family (the unruly one they might say) hoping to be ordained as priestess to the Goddess despite sniping from your aunt and sister, as you move about your small theocratic island kingdom. It is wordier than some of the other entries I've played so far, but it does a great job earning those words with personality and veneer.

The dialogue is excellent; you quickly get a handle on each of the characters, their relationships, and their motivations. You're also given a good sense of your own character early on (this is not a faceless/nameless adventurer you're controlling here). This all helps in making the game feel purposeful.

Puzzles are pretty straightforward: Talk to this person, find this item here, show it to this other person, etc. But they're not the focus here, and they're still enjoyable.

Maybe some of the descriptions are a bit hand-holdy in terms of guiding the player; I think having other characters tell you what they need or having your own character express goals is great, but having descriptions say pretty much what to do next seems like hand-of-the-creator reaching down and pointing something out. I think some of them were one step more explicit than they needed to be. But some players, I'm sure, will appreciate that.

The writing is the star here. The world, the setting, the characters: all are very well sketched out, and just exploring this small world was really enjoyable.

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