Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home

by Andrew Plotkin profile

Science Fiction

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Number of Ratings: 83
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- Cerfeuil, October 11, 2022

- Kinetic Mouse Car, August 1, 2022

- penguincascadia (Puget Sound), March 24, 2022

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
As beautiful and distant as the light of Vega, March 23, 2022

I first played this game a while ago. And I think it's a testament to the writing and the design that I remember it clearly, and playing it again held no surprises - other than being delighted once again by the conceit and by the writing.

It is very like Dual Transform, also by Plotkin: a jewel of a game, tiny but perfect in its simplicity. Like that game, Heliopause hints at vast worlds to explore but delivers only a fraction of them; like that game, the sense of freedom conveyed by the clever writing conceals a short plot that runs entirely on rails. But again like that game, the writing is so beautiful, conveying so much with such economy, that it gets away with it.

I can see why some people don't like this game and others like it. There is something distant and clinical about it: its beauty is remote and grand, not personal and intimate. But I love this sort of thing. The story is simple but memorable; the settings are stark and evocative. I'd love to play a game like this that combined this kind of writing and imagery with true freedom and immense scope, but until that game appears, I'm very happy with ones like this.

- civilstat (Maine, USA), October 21, 2021

- Zape, April 22, 2021

- Durafen, October 16, 2020

- Edo, July 25, 2020

- William Chet (Michigan), July 19, 2020

- kierlani, May 19, 2020

- E.K., April 1, 2020

- Sammel, March 21, 2020

- Bartlebooth, February 17, 2020

- querenthenna, November 15, 2019

- Stas, March 25, 2018

- Guenni (At home), February 16, 2018

- Doug Orleans (Somerville, MA, USA), November 26, 2016

- Squidi, May 13, 2016

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Space, March 26, 2016

There's a certain type of SF literature which is near and dear to my heart - initially small situations opening out upon a rich and unknowable scope of universe. Olaf Stapledon and Cordwainer Smith are both rather good at this.

So after coming across this sort of language in a text adventure, I couldn't not but give it five stars. Every word is well-chosen and matched for the mood. Recommended for a meditative midwinter's night.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A short sci-fi game about wonder with some interesting choices, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game exemplifies the original feel of Star Trek. To explore the universe, to travel through the worlds, to understand the un-understandable.

The game is much shorter than I expected, given the other reviews. This is not really a drawback; the game has a fast pace and feels like an adventure. You explore various planets and stellar objects, with almost all motion achieved by manipulating "sails".

The gameplay diverges from Plotkin's usual games in that it is not very hard, and the focus is on fun over puzzles. The most similar game of his that I can think of is Dual Transform, which I also really enjoyed.

I recommend this game to absolutely everyone, as the enjoyment-to-time-requirement ratio is so very high.

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- CMG (NYC), September 12, 2015

- wwenches (Florida), June 27, 2015

- Pegbiter (Malmö, Sweden), June 23, 2015

- Fabien Vidal (Tours, France), May 25, 2015

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