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About the Story
A chronicle of the events of the winter storm of the same name.
Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2015 XYZZY Awards
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 5
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I loved this surreal little trip to Veederland. Winter Storm Draco has stuck; your job was to walk to the convenience store and pick up hot dogs, buns, and cheap wine for your roommates.
As a hearty New Englander, walking through a storm resonated with me, but of course, we can't buy wine at our convenience stores. That's a complaint about Connecticut, not about this wonderful work, which shares the same excellent sense of place that Veeder incorporates into his work.
Even though the game starts by getting you lost in a strip of woods between the highway and your neighborhood, it felt believable and real; I could easily draw a map of the area from memory alone.
One of the highlights of this work are the in-game clues. A slight bending of the 4th wall and a charming writing style lets Veeder directly suggest unusual actions and moves to the player, and it improves the overall work.
This piece has a mix of puzzles: a combat mini-game, a riddle, and a 'combine the items' puzzle. The variety makes it challenging, but all the puzzles are fair, logical, and obvious post-solution.
The ending is especially strong, and felt like a real-world experience, an important bit of grounding in an otherwise surreal piece.
Winter Storm Draco is a moody traipse through an over-snowed path, but with some strange sights on the way.
Winter Storm Draco is a game that is well-suited to its format. It plays on one of the strengths of the parser format, by allowing the author to wrench control from the player at key moments - first in navigation, when even the compass directions so ubiquitous in parser games mean nothing; later, in the end-scene.
I relied on the walkthrough in several parts but mostly there were textual clues enough to let a reader canny with parser game conventions to proceed without too much difficulty.
It has the signature self-referential, dry wit that came through so markedly in Nautilisia, though Winter Storm Draco is a little more introspective, a little grimmer. Overall, enjoyable and atmospheric.
I rarely--if ever--give something five stars, but this vignette is a work of art. As art, as an artistic expression of IF, it gets five stars. If I qualify further, I may have to give something away, so just try it and see for yourself.
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