Our Island

by Patrick Williams


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Number of Ratings: 4
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1-4 of 4

- aferrell (Washington, DC), March 16, 2013

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Good groundwork, but needs way more work., March 6, 2013
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
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Our Island appears at first, and mostly, to be a lyrical holiday game set in an idyllic seaside community. You can wander along Wharf Street, buy an ice cream from the pretty ice cream girl, look for flotsam and jetsam, observe local wildlife and feel sparkly about life as you note the presence of the local community centre. Admittedly the majority of these things are only implemented at a very rudimentary level, and some only exist in the location description text, but there's still no denying the game's coherent and romantic sense of place. The map is big and demands real mapping with pen and paper, at least if the player isn't to miss anything. This is also assuming the player makes it past the painful intro, which is basically a My Apartment game set in a holiday house where you have to fight with an inventory limit.

The trick with Our Island is that there's a whole other level of play in it, one involving puzzles and unexpected zaniness, but it's so obscurely integrated into an outwardly goal-less holiday game that it's a huge ask of players to (a) even identify that it's there and (b) negotiate it and solve it especially with Our Island being in as rough a state as it is. Presenting a rich environment and then slowly allowing the player to become aware of some upheaval within it can make for a great dramatic design, but it demands strong execution to be successful. The biggest problem for Our Island is its erratic implementation. If the player starts to sense that more than half the interesting-looking content in the game is just painted on, they're going to stop checking the content. And in the cases where the content is relevant to the puzzles, the game doesn't signal it. There's also just tons of plain old bugs, typos, failures to describe exits, scenes that play at the wrong times, and even the odd location with no description. So for now, the game's island-sized ambitions considerably outstrip its quality of delivery. The groundwork for something great is here, and I already enjoyed exploring the environment, but the whole thing needs lots more work.

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Needs work, March 6, 2013
by Cder

This game is... terrible. I'm sorry, but it was extremely hard to follow and it had quite a few spelling errors. Also, you have to tell the person playing in what direction everything is in order for them to be able to navigate correctly, not having to press every direction trying to find a way out. The story line was not explained in any way shape or form, and there was no way of telling where you had to go, or what you had to do. There are a few ways to make this into a good story, however. First, you need to add a better story, explain it more, add a couple notes here and there, telling the person where to go. Secondly, try adding more directional signs, describing the scene is not enough, tell them where they can exit and give some clue as to what they're suppose to do. Last thing I'm going to say, please fix the errors in the coding, some of the context makes absolutely no sense in terms to the items being picked up, 'You open the backpack, revealing tin box, TaB, snack, a towel, vase and wallet.' is not the correct way to phrase that command. You have the potential to become a great IF author, just try to fix a few things, like going into detail what the item is what what it does.

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- E.K., February 27, 2013

1-4 of 4 | Return to game's main page