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About the Story
A deity discovers and meets his destiny ... or not.
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|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 3
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Well, that was embarrassing.
I wrote a review of this game earlier, and had to rewrite it after a couple folks pointed out to me that the game is rather larger than I thought. If you think it has only two locations, look further. If you think it has only three locations, keep going. The game actually has an ending. I originally gave two stars, but now I'm giving four. And only one of those at most is meant to make up for my mistake with the last review.
All in all, it's a fairly polished and lovely vision of the divine. The player character is a god, or perhaps the original god, exploring his/her kingdom. The prose, including parser errors, is cleverly and beautifully constructed with all the trappings of religious reverence, mystery and vision. It's interactive scripture that draws on the most fantastic images from Abrahamic and Vedic texts alike.
So, four stars for polish, some mildly clever mechanics, and stellar prose. It misses out on the final star because it's too easy to play without realizing there's more to do than is immediately obvious(Spoiler - click to show), and because the ending falls too neatly into the old "It was all an anesthetically induced hallucination" trope.
I gave this game a try and - like lots of other players I guess - got stuck on the first two locations. After some help from the comments on this site I broke through and managed to visit and investigate more places until the end.
Every location was evocative, interesting and with lovely prose. The text tells only enough details for one to make a mental picture and fill in the details with imagination. The references to hinduism (as far as I can tell) add a layer of density and incentivize the player to look further and further. My experience with the locations, however, was not very interactive: I smelled, listened, touched... But could not affect the world in any way, making it feel like a walk through an intriguing landscape.
On the minus side, I dearly missed an "about" command that would point me in the right direction on the first steps (there's a response to "help", very much in character) and more details on possible alternate endings. Because of not really knowing what and if there is something beyond my experience, I refrain from giving a score.
game gets 1 star for intriguing concept
1 star withheld for subverting the game's own premise: narrator micromanaging an all powerful entity to the point of rendering it impotent
1 star withheld for not introducing the game in a manner that prepares the player for the significant deviation from standard IF gameplay: usual verbs, ways of interacting with the world, etc...
1 star withheld for not only not providing a hint option for the frustrated player, but being unable to find a walkthru online to even get past the second room.
1 star withheld for contemptuous sink-swim attitude towards player: it's great the other reviewer had people reach out to him/her; it should not take a village to play an IF game.
|All Roads, by Jon Ingold|
Average member rating: (149 ratings)
"Wave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread For he on honey-dew hath fed And drunk the milk of paradise." [--blurb from Competition Aught-One]
|Shrapnel, by Adam Cadre|
Average member rating: (164 ratings)
|Violet, by Jeremy Freese|
Average member rating: (363 ratings)
Calm down. All you have to do is write a thousand words and everything will be fine. And you have all day, except it's already noon. [blurb from IF Comp 2008]