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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful:A towering achievement?, September 25, 2010
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
I started playing Babel with high, very high expectations. Right now, the game has 27 5-star ratings, 24 4-star ratings, and only 7 ratings below that. This game, I was thinking, must be a towering achievement, one of the true classics of modern interactive fiction.
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streever, April 19, 2014 - Reply
I'm resurrecting this thread--I think I have something to add here.
I think the reason why Babel earned so much acclaim is two-fold. It is very well-written; I hate blocks of texts, but I read & enjoyed the entire story. Yes, there are a few tired chestnuts, but for the most part, this was crisp and solid writing and plotting, which I'd say holds up to the bulk of modern IF.
The second reason is the timing; I think this was a really strong game in 1997. It was highly accessible, with puzzles that could be completed with a little patience. Looking back at the other IF Comp entrants from 1997, I think this game really sticks out as one of the strongest pieces.
Is it the greatest IF game ever? No, but it had strong and robust text parsing, to the point that I couldn't find any errors or confusion in my first play through. I can't say that for many other games which get an equal level of fanfare and heralding.
I think the attention to detail is very good, and the actual narrative and quality of writing is also of a high enough level, to earn this game some merit. It was affecting, moving, and used strong imagery well, in a way that made me feel exceptionally clever as a player when those images were involved in puzzles.
deathbytroggles, April 1, 2018 - Reply
I agree with streever, that I think a lot of the high ratings come from this being released in 1997. At the time, I had only played Zork and Wishbringer, so this blew my mind. If I had played it for the first time now, I would probably have been similarly underwhelmed. Though, I am a sucker for games about Arctic research stations gone amok. See: Enclosure, a free AGI horror game.
smartgenes, January 16, 2011 - Reply
I wholeheartedly agree with the points in this review, as I couldn't understand the high rating either. Yes, it has a good atmosphere, and it is a good game, but it doesn't feel like anything new. Rather than comparing the game with one or two individual games, the reviewer like me has considered it as it stands in the whole realm of interactive fiction, and to me it is just an average/good game, hence I gave it a rating (before this review) of 3 stars. The "touch" plot-device it seemed to me would have worked better in a different game, or with more to be revealed in the plot later. Ultimately I anticipated more from the game.
Victor Gijsbers, October 11, 2010 - ReplyPrevious | << 1 >> | Next
Yes, I guess so -- but if you are looking for pure discovery, it seems to me that the Photopia-model (put no barriers between the player and progress) is better than the Babel-model (put barriers between the player and progress that aren't really fun to try to overcome).