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I6 / PunyInform source code.

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Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut)

by Stefan Vogt profile

Episode 1 of The Hibernated Trilogy
Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Have you ever dreamed about a journey far beyond the known regions of the universe? Close to Alpha Centauri, Olivia Lund is on the trail of one of mankind's greatest secrets and a thousand-year-old mystery. After nearly 20 years in hypersleep, she wakes up alone on her stranded ship, the Polaris-7. The artificial intelligence Io seems to be her only remaining friend now.

Hibernated 1 - This Place is Death (Director's Cut) is an Infocom style interactive fiction game. It's a complete rewrite of the classic, award-winning Hibernated game using Infocom's Z-machine standard, with tons of additional narrative content and riddles.

The game focuses on being a modern piece of nostalgia, so it has been released for 23 classic 8-bit and 16-bit systems but you also get a version using Parchment as well as the usual z3 and z5 files. A physical edition, resembling the iconic Infocom grey boxes, is currently in production.

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Number of Reviews: 3
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
An extended sci-fi space puzzler on many platforms, June 21, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

In this game, you play as someone awoken from cryosleep near the end of a long journey when your spaceship encounters an alien vessel. You'll have to explore the vessel with your helpful artificial intelligence unit Io, discovering its origin and purpose and encountering some bizarre alien technology on the way.

I'm not sure where to rate this, so I'll use my 5 point scale:

+Polish: I've read reviews of the earlier versions, and it seems like the Inform version dealt with most of the issues. I definitely would consider this more polished and bug-free than most games I play. Most standard responses have been replaced, most error messages are helpful, and command suggestions are frequently handed out. The game includes complicated containers, text typing into various interfaces, talkative NPCs, etc.
+Descriptiveness: A lot of the text is vivid. The author is clearly enthusiastic about space and I think it pays off. I was able to get a clear visual idea of each room.
+Interactivity: I admit I liked the puzzles. Many recent old-school games I've tried haven't appealed to me, but this is more of a light Infocom style than the more difficult British games. There's a bit more hand holding than Infocom but I appreciate that as someone who prefers lighter puzzles. I did get stuck a couple of times and had to request help.
+Emotional impact: The storyline itself didn't grab me but my natural curiosity and interest in the setting and exploration was satisfied. I felt like there was always something to work on and overall found it similar to a crossword puzzle in satisfaction.
?Would I play it again? I'm torn. On the one hand, I don't think this will become a long-term favorite. On the other hand, it has a pleasant compactness and unity that I could see myself coming back to in the future, especially if there were a sequel (which the name suggests). So I'll award a point here.

To me this game compares most directly with Hugo Labrande's Tristam Island and Marco Innocenti's Andromeda games. They all have a fairly similar style of 'retro aesthetic with modern affordances', a playtime of several hours, and availability on multiple platforms.

I think this game succeeds in its apparent goal, which is to create a product that people who played adventure games in the 80's will recognize and enjoy. The availability on multiple retro platforms definitely helps with that feel. (I'm making guesses here since I didn't play IF until 2010).

There are two types of authors when it comes to feedback: growth-minded authors and marketing authors. Growth-minded authors are looking for ways to improve and eager to find flaws in their products, while marketing authors are hoping to make more sales/move more product and don't want anything negative.

Competition authors are usually growth-minded, but since this is a commercial game I don't know which type this author is, so I'll put the 'growth' comments in spoilers which can be ignored if not desired:
(Spoiler - click to show)Jon Ingold, a two-time XYZZY winning author and head of the Inkle company said recently that the PC should never take action that isn't somehow the direct result of a player's choice, and I think that's true. Too often our character here does something without input, like the data hub; we're told 'it's not powered on, so you decide not to put anything on it'. It just feels weird. I can think of more examples if you like.
(Spoiler - click to show)Also, IO provides very useful information but talking again just says you can't think of anything to talk about. Again it's
kind of making the decision for you, but more importantly it's hard to get the information again. It'd be nice if IO would summarize for you or if there was another way to repeat that information.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Give me a hand, would you?, May 25, 2023
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

0.14 light years. That's all. At the speed of travel that would be like standing on the doorstep of the destination. Almost being able to extend a finger to ring the bell.

But no. The ship's computer decided being caught in an alien vessel's tractor beam is enough to wake me out of that sweet/nauseating comatose sleep...

Something must be really wrong.

Well, in Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut) there doesn't seem to be at first. My ship's alright, no leaking pipes or other damage. There is however a humongous alien ship looming over my front window. And over my rear airlock. And once I get to exploring it, big enough to be looming over quite an angle of visible spave from my point of view.

Let's say it's large.

Not only is it large, it's weird. I'm used to the nicely symmetrical dimensions of my own ship, but this alien one extends unexpectedly far in unnecessary directions...

The game-map of Hibernated follows a pragmatic, functional, straightforward plan. NESW. Except it encourages nautical directions to keept the player closer to the setting. I am always looking for the author's use of the map, the rooms and their connections. This is an element that can add a great deal of atmosphere to the writing of the descriptions.

Here, instead of using wriggly curving pathways, the author sticks to right angled F/SB/A/P -directions, but the difference between the familiar, symmetrical map of my "home"-spaceship and the alien ship is still enough to warp my directional feelings. Once I entered the alien ship and started drawing a map, everything seemed to be lopsided, heavy on one side.

This juxtaposition of symmetrical-lopsided ship design is strong enough to emphasise the difference between both ships.

But there is a shift that completely twists the mental image. A twist that makes it abundantly clear that these ships are hanging still (relative to one another) in vacuum space, that shows, once it *clicks*, hpw such masses behave in space.

Now, of course, there is no way I'm hunkering down in my own little ship. Exploring the alien ship however is tricky. It's set on "quarantine" mode, aso I have the dual task of finding out why the doors are locked and finding out how to cross those barriers.

A lot of these puzzles are quite straightforward variations on "find key; use key." However, at just the right locations (or just the right plot-beats), there are two puzzles.

One that is straightforward and one that is, well, straightforward... And stil they manage to stump the player's progress at just the right time.

Especially the second one of those straightforward puzzles manages to break the adventurer's expectations and elicit a gleeful "yay".

As mysterious as the background story begins, it's expected toward the end. I don't mean this in a bad way. Prometheus' effort to rejoice humanity deserves repetition. But this is a game worth more playing for those two puzzles. The backstory could become *story* with a rewrite.

Very engaging atmosphere, brilliant puzzles.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Fantastic!, August 16, 2021
by ConradV (Northern Idaho, USA)

Definitely brings back memories of me as a kid playing Trinity, Planetfall, Lurking Horror and the rest.

Puzzles are very fair, and well thought out - challenging at times.

I really liked the "IO" concept.

Well written game, and recommended.

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Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut) on IFDB

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Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut) appears in the following Recommended Lists:

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The following polls include votes for Hibernated 1 (Director's Cut):

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Writing of 2021 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2021 which you think might be worth considering for Best Writing in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall Games of 2021 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2021 which you think might be worth considering for Best Game in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest games...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Setting of 2021 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2021 which you think might be worth considering for Best Setting in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...

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This is version 10 of this page, edited by JTN on 25 December 2023 at 7:28pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page