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28th Place - 7th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2001)
Mostly competent if uninspiring sci-fi effort in which you're looking for a professor who's disappeared on an alien planet. There's one nicely done sequence with an event that has effects in multiple directions at once, progressing over time, so that you see some of the immediate effects in some places and see the aftermath elsewhere. The rest, though, isn't particularly interesting--there's a maze (though a very easy one), and some puzzles whose logic is apparent only in retrospect. Standard sci-fi with a few good moments.
-- Duncan Stevens
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
I'm not sure whether I object more [to] the puzzle whose solution seems impossible based on its object's description, or the one whose solution is just totally illogical. Either way, having them both in the same game is not a good thing. I have sympathy for people who struggle with puzzle design, because I'm one of them. But it's better to have no puzzles at all than puzzles that aren't any fun.
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This game has you visiting a lost world where the builders, an ancient people of great power, had disappeared, and where your supervisor has disappeared.
It has a fairly small map, allowing you to explore much of it in 30 minutes or so, but it has a tricky maze and a propensity for hiding things in scenery objects.
Overall, I found it a mostly interesting story, reminiscent of a Star Trek movie.
BANE OF THE BUILDERS is a quite solidly arranged game with a sci-fi theme. The player explores an alien planet in search of a missing professor and encounters the ancient race of the so-called Builders, getting acquainted with their culture while holding out for the missing academic. The game ranked about in the middle of the 7th annual IF competition.
The game itself is not too bad. A science fiction story that complies with the standards. There are a redundant maze and some arbitrary puzzles, things that could have been more polished. But the writing is decent and the game features in-built hints. There is also a walkthrough available on the database, so the player can find help when he/she gets stuck.
I can recommend the game to fans of science fiction and people who want to get a taste for the sci-fi category, although there are probably better choices for people who wish to check out the genre for the first time.
This is version 2 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 23 April 2008 at 5:47pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item