The Zuni Doll

by Jesse Burneko

Horror
1997

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Brief and bare-bonesy action-horror., September 15, 2011
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: horror, Inform

The Zuni Doll is a short horror adventure in which you have to fend off the eponymous and cursed African doll when it starts trying to kill you. Your goal in purchasing the thing was to add it to your collection of curios, but one stupid action by your pet cat has reactivated the doll's evil.

The game is set in the few rooms of your house and doesn't beat around the bush, quickly getting you into the business of finding a succession of methods to stave off the doll's attacks. It has some exciting moments, but the programming is entirely bare bones. The included background information says that The Zuni Doll was written in four days as a programming demonstration, and this shows. There are no synonyms, no alternate ways of doing things, and Undo isn't even mentioned in the game over menu, though it's the most common command you'll need in response to the frequent snuffing out of your life that occurs. There are also random typos, and objects aren't necessarily described through the filter of the life and death events which frame the action.

In spite of these weaknesses, the game is so short and linear that you won't feel like you've wrecked your experience by consulting the equally short walk through, which you'll probably have to do. There's also a bit of humour in the writing (and the whole idea), and some interesting gore. Overall, the game offers brief fun with a good idea, but scattershot delivery. It's certainly a candidate for a tune up which it will probably never get.



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