What Once Was

by Luke A. Jones profile

2017

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An expansive time travel quest game, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game is by Luke Jones, who also wrote the interesting Bony King of Nowhere for Spring Thing in 2017.

This game is a treasure hunt puzzle fest type game, but it's kind of spare and with some hard-to-guess puzzles. The puzzles mostly revolve around finding the item or items that will induce NPCs to do things for you.

The game has a large cast of characters, many of which have multiple versions of themselves over 3 time periods. It has also has many rooms over the same time period. But much of it is under implemented. A porter is present in each time period, but has very little description or conversation in any, except for one short paragraph once. However, the author was explicitly inspired by Robin Johnson's minimalist games, so it is likely intentional.

The game has good bones, though, with a pleasant run through campus history and future. If the author switched to Inform 7, like Steph Cherrywell did, and budgeted more time for beta testing and polishing, they could build on the success they already have.