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About the Story
""crux ('kr&ks, 'kruks)
30th Place - 6th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2000)
Fantasy quest inside a castle. The contents of the castle are wildly diverse in the manner of very early fantasy quests, so the atmosphere suffers a bit. Reasonably solid, technically, but suffers from some poor game design choices, including a large and frustrating maze and a randomized elevator. There are some good large-scale puzzles, and the writing and overall plot are quite strong, but the game design makes things more difficult than they should be.
-- Duncan Stevens
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
All this is not to say that it's a bad game. It is implemented minimally, but competently. I don't think I found any major bugs, though the game's fascination with non-standard geography and randomness sometimes made it difficult to tell what was a bug and what wasn't. The prose, like the code, is sparse but error-free. Perhaps, if I was able to play it all the way through, I'd even think that Amnos is a really good game, or at least a draft of something on the way to becoming a really good game. With what I was able to see, though, all I was able to tell was that its entry as a competition game impaired my ability to enjoy it.
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I was excited to finally play the first John Evans game, as he had become a legend in my mind from his other games.
John Evans is known for entering massive, extremely bold games into the comp that are just not finished. Games where you create the world, or where you can do anything you want, that kind of thing.
Castle Amnos is actually relatively tame and finished compared to the later games. There is a castle with five floors, reachable by an elevator whose buttons seem to work randomly. I was able to learn a variety of spells. It seems the game is mostly unfinishable, but the textdump showed me the ending.
Overall, it was fairly fun.