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About the Story
When your master is murdered, you must uncover the magical secrets of Renaissance Italy, before your rival apprentices expose them first!
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Number of Reviews: 1
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Every commercial Choice of Games entry I've played is well put-together, interesting, and felt worth my while. So when I rate them, it's usually on intangible personal feelings that may not translate to others.
This game has a cool setting. You are one of three apprentices to a master in Venice near the end of the 15th century. This game features encounters with several of the Medici's as well as Machiavelli (who is very pleasant) and several references to an exiled Leonardo da Vinci. Care is taken in presenting the setting. For fans of this setting (similar to that in Jon Ingold's All Roads) or alternate histories in general, I can absolutely recommend the game for its writing and style.
Mechanically, I have some questions with it. There are many stats, the bonuses to stats are small, stats are frequently decreased, most stat checks require multiple stats at once, and there is significant overlap in stats making divining the correct choice difficult (such as Boldness being an opposed stat and confidence being a skill, or charm being an opposed stat and guile being a skill).
I think these design choices were intended to increase the difficulty and prevent player boredom, something I struggled with in my own choicescript game. But the net effect was a feeling of frustration for me. Also, it's hard to know how to raise some stats. I took every opportunity to be romantic with Dangereuse and ended up with a 53% in the relationship, too low to get their support vs the machine.
I feel like games do best when, if you know what you intend to do, it is clear on what you must do to succeed in it; I think Emily Short and other early parser theorists stated a similar principle, where if you know the solution to a puzzle it should be easy to type it in.
I think instead of throwing stat difficulties in the way, it's better to do what games like Choice of Magics or Psy High do, where perhaps the person you love turns out to be a horrible person and you have to do things you hate to be with them, or you can be as powerful as you want but will accrue a specific penalty that is known long ahead of time.
I guess that's a counterpart to delayed branching (a principle in Choicescript where your choices have effects far down the road): being able to strategize.
Anyway, that's a long aside that's more about a class of games (including this game and my own) than any individual one. For this specific game, the trouble with stats made it harder to make plans and I ended up turning to the Machine to solve all my problems. Fortunately, the ending was well-written.
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Average member rating: (3 ratings)
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Average member rating: (17 ratings)
Navigate fraught social situations by day and pull off heists by night as Lady Thalia, the not-actually-aristocratic thief bent on making a mockery of British high society.