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Clever and captivating, November 30, 2014
Weird City Interloper is a fairly small conversation-based game.
Perhaps "conversation-based" is an understatement: there is literally nothing but conversation here. No conventional IF narrator telling you what is there, and how it looks like, and what is happening: only the direct speech of the NPCs. No "examine", or "inventory", or "go north": all you can do is talk.
And yet there is wonderful scenery in the game, and eventful journeys through the strange and colorful city of Zendon, and exciting adventures. Playing it reminded me of Elizabethan drama: no stage sets in the theater, almost no stage directions in the text; and then somebody says something like "But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad, / Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill" - and you get the picture.
Above all, the game has vivid and memorable NPCs. I think even Gun Mute, another work by Pacian with a magnificent NPC cast, in this respect pales before Weird City Interloper. Each one of the fantastical and amusing characters would be enough to make a whole game centered on them. You could write an entertaining game about Lissa Ratdaughter, our trusty streetwise guide - and I would definitely play such a game, because I found Lissa interesting. You could write a nice game about Zook Spiralhouse, an innkeeper (who also happens to be a gigantic snail), charming in her grandmotherly way. And here there are not one or two, but a dozen of them - funny, mysterious, grotesque, different, each with their own unique voice and world-view.
There are no difficult puzzles (I don't think anyone can get truly stuck in this game, even without hints from (Spoiler - click to show)the rat queen) - just exploring, going through different topics of conversation, discovering things about the city and yourself; "lawnmowering", if you wish to call it such. But I never thought "lawnmowering" could be so enjoyable.