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Pre-Marie

by Dee Cooke profile

2020

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

On a rainy afternoon in November, Marie quietly leaves her house in Crossley, England, through the rooflight window of her attic. It's imperative that she catches a train to London... before it's too late.

As Marie, you need to catch that train. Although there might be a few last clues to collect in Crossley before you leave...


Game Details

Language: English (en-GB)
First Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Adventuron
IFID: Unknown
TUID: x37lwtp9ju6oj4i

Awards

Honorable Mention - IntroComp 2020

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An Introcomp taster of a non-Pre-Marie., November 25, 2021
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
Related reviews: introcomp 2020, adventuron

(This is an edited version of a review I originally wrote for my blog during Introcomp 2020.)

Pre-Marie was the first Adventuron game I ever tried. The 'pre' refers to the fact that it was entered in IntroComp as a taster for a longer game.

Marie is set in contemporary London. The PC is a woman about to sneak out to investigate some unspecified mystery that she doesn't want her currently sleeping husband to know she's going to investigate. It's a compelling set-up delivered in a generally old school manner. This means: the parser is simple and doesn't understand a lot or too well. The graphics are pixellated pastels that vaguely remind me of some of the early graphic adventure games from the 1980s, and especially the propensity of those games to present different streets in a town in ways that made them seem disorientingly (or deliberately) samey. The font channels both ZX Spectrum adventuring and Sierra's various Quest games.

There's a bit of needless misdirection in the game that seems down to the parser. For instance, reaching for a wet newspaper spied on the ground prompts a 'Leave it alone, it's wet'-type rejection message. But really, the game wants you to READ the newspaper. The prose is also a little misjudged in giving overall direction. Early on it presents the heroine's internal dithering as to whether she should hasten to get on a train or keep exploring her neighbourhood, but the game is really about doing the latter. Her dithering is too dithery re: what's important to the game. And new location descriptions can scroll partly out of view, meaning you have to mouse back up the first time you enter a new area.

It took several plays for me to apprehend all of this, and the first play felt especially open ("What's going on? How does this game work? What does it want? What can it do? What should I do?"). I certainly enjoyed the intrigue of trying to make out the game's aesthetic over those plays, its suburban London setting and the mystery of its plot. I barely dented that plot. I do ultimately find the game curious. There's something non-transparent to me about how this particular story's being delivered with this old font, with these graphics, with its mystery plot versus its simple parser. It might have become clearer to me were the game to have continued. I also confess I wasn't crazy abouut the graphics overall, though they have their moments. The pastel colour scheme leads to a kind of non-differentiation that I find hard to interpret at times. I also find the PC's notebook contents, presented via the graphics, visually illegible.

On the excerpt of Marie given, I didn't get it, but my curiosity did prompt me to give the IntroCompish verdict of, yes, I would like to see more of this game.


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This is version 3 of this page, edited by Dee Cooke on 23 December 2020 at 2:26pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item