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A Wise Use of Time

by Jim Dattilo

Science Fiction

Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

With the power to freeze time, you can ransack a casino, rescue a celebrity, or cheat death itself!

A Wise Use of Time is a thrilling 260,000-word interactive sci-fi novel by Jim Dattilo, author of Zombie Exodus, winner of the 2011 XYZZY "Special Recognition" award for interactive fiction. Your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based--without graphics or sound effects--and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

When you freeze time, no one can see you, hear you, or stop you, except, perhaps, a handful of mysterious time controllers like yourself. Every second you steal puts more stress on your body and mind.

Will you bring justice to the mobsters who run rampant in your city? Will you steal from them to provide for those in need? Will you share your power with friends and family? Will you destroy your own powers, or will your powers destroy you first?

•Play as male or female; gay, straight, or bisexual.
•Develop relationships with one of four main romantic options (or a secret one). Track your relationships and moral stats as they change.
•Level up your time-control powers, or nullify them to protect yourself and others.

Game Details


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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Great author and great concept with some problems in the execution, February 11, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

Jim Dattilo is a good interactive fiction author. He's great at creating a variety of characters.

The power to affect time is a fun subject in IF, and has a lot of potential.

However, I think this game misses at its aims a bit.

You play as an insurance salesman who one days realizes they can stop time. You can use this to enrich yourself or help others, and you can attract the attention of many might people or romantic interests.

I think where the trouble is is that Jim's strengths are a vibrant cast of NPCs and a superhero game's strength is the hero's growth, and they don't mesh well.

Your character in this game has almost no development; all the interesting personal plotlines are pushed on to other people. There is an enemy, but they enter pretty late in the story.

The problem is the NPCs with the interesting plotlines don't have powers, so the game basically alternates between two chunks: interesting, non-supernatural segments with NPC's personal lives, and exciting but aimless explorations of your powers. So, for instance, you might go to a party with someone and learn about their childhood, then go out to a park and decide to steal a bike or help a kid not scrape their knee. And that's the bulk of the game.

The writing is good, though, and over time I found the characters interesting. The workplace subplot is fascinating. I definitely feel like playing this game was not a waste of my time.

The other main problem I had was a 'sudden death' ending in Chapter 12. I don't mind sudden deaths in Choicescript games, but these are essentially 'hardmode' games where a death wipes your whole file and you have to restart. If there was some kind of denouement to your death (like in Mask of the Plague Doctor) or options to restart a given chapter (like Choice of Rebels or Cakes and Ale), it would be a lot less painful.

So I can't strongly recommend this game, but I can recommend it to fans of Dattilo's other work and fans of slice-of-life style superhero works (or corporate drama; honestly, if you're into that, that subplot alone is a pretty good game in and of itself).

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This is version 1 of this page, edited by MathBrush on 11 February 2021 at 6:01pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page