by Graham Nelson


Return to the game's main page

Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 35
Write a review

Previous | << 1 2 >> | Next | Show All

- Nomad, November 18, 2023

- Edo, August 17, 2023

- mg51, October 26, 2021

- heasm66 (Sweden), August 19, 2021

- Prosilire (New York City), August 3, 2021

- Zape, March 16, 2019

- Zach Shifflett (VA, United States), December 11, 2018

- e.peach, December 29, 2017

- Denk, June 3, 2017

- shornet (Bucharest), November 23, 2016

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), April 8, 2016

- E. W. B., February 25, 2016

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A short game to demonstrate Inform's abilities. Based on the Enchanter series., August 6, 2015
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

'Balances' is a short game based on Infocom's celebrated Enchanter series. In fact, the opening area is directly based on the sample walkthrough in the manual of the original Enchanter game.

This game demonstrates some of Inform's best abilities: indistinguishable objects, games involving large numbers, magical spells that interact with each other, a balance that weighs different objects, etc.

The game is relatively fun, but short and without a coherent plot. It can be a good introduction to the Enchanter series for those who aren't sure about Infocom games.

Graham Nelson wrote a longer game with similar elements: The meteor, the stone, and a long glass of sherbet. Those who like this game should definitely try the longer Meteor game.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

- Thrax, March 12, 2015

- KidRisky (Connecticut, USA), December 20, 2013

- kala (Finland), September 6, 2013

- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013

- Floating Info, April 3, 2013

- Dida, August 31, 2012

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Good Introductory IF, March 29, 2012
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: graham nelson, fantasy

Play it if: you're new to IF, or if you're in the mood for some light amusement and fairly easy puzzles.

Avoid it if: you prefer a bit more bite in your IF, or you've a hair trigger for cruelty or unfairness, for while not particularly challenging, this game has a soupçon of both.

While more of a showpiece to display some of Inform's capabilities than a true game, Balances is nevertheless an enjoyable enough experience in its own right to recommend it to the novice player.

The game, drawing upon the Enchanter trilogy's magic system, offers several good puzzles - many of which revolve around the player's ability to reverse spell effects. This creates some fun possibilities (Spoiler - click to show)(including the need to die at least once to win). There was an alternative solution to the lottery puzzle, however, which I would have loved to see implemented(Spoiler - click to show) - specifically, reversing the "caskly" spell to turn the first-prize ticket into the last-prize ticket, though that would have required re-tooling of the elephant puzzle.

There are, unfortunately, a couple of puzzles which would qualify as cruel or unfair (Spoiler - click to show)(specifically, the lottery puzzle). Nevertheless, I only had to resort to a walkthrough only once - and given my flair for puzzle-solving, if that isn't a sign of low difficulty, I don't what is.

Ultimately, Balances is a light and loose distraction. It's probably most suited to newcomers to interactive fiction given its small scope and relatively straightforward gameplay. The magic system and its implementation may also give aspiring IF writers some pointers on basic puzzle construction.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

- Relle Veyér, March 1, 2012

- Jeff Zeitlin (Greater New York Area), September 6, 2011

- André St-Aubin (Laval, Québec), June 25, 2011

- snickerdoddle, January 30, 2011

Previous | << 1 2 >> | Next | Show All | Return to game's main page