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About the Story
Striding into the spotlight, you smile as you look out over the crowd. It's a good turnout tonight. Now it is up to the Bournebrook Rill Community Orchestra and you, maestro Nevada Elmsbee, to deliver a spectacular performance.
Nominee, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation - 2019 XYZZY Awards
24th Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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I beta-tested this game.
Åkesson is one of the most successful creators of new parser languages in the last few years. His new A-machine and Dialog language have proven to be powerful and smooth, and its default messages are, perhaps, more appropriate than Inform's default messages.
This game is a great departure from usual parser fare, and a bold choice for IFComp. You are a conductor, and you must follow a real-life score (from the Nutcracker Suite) and cue everyone at the right time. The real score is contained in the game, as well.
This is like no other game I've seen before, and playing it is extremely taxing. I felt like I was burning calories as I played this game. Even slight errors can cause havoc in the orchestra. And if you play perfectly, a problem arises that is outside the scope of the score, providing a 'lousy last point' puzzle.
Is this well-done? Yes. Is it innovative? Definitely. Is it a great display of the Dialog language's capabilities? Absolutely. But is it fun? For me, playing felt frustrating, but winning was truly enjoyable. So if you're going to play it, try to schedule time to finish it!
This is a fun game that requires some serious and enjoyable mental work. Perhaps it doesn't meet all expectations, but there's a lot of things it does very well.
Some players considered it a difficult game. I'm terrible at parser games (because I simply can't get into the 'try different verbs' mindset), and I didn't find it hard at all. The mechanic breaks standard parser expectations, which is very clever, but if you read the description text with attention, everything you need to uncover the mechanics (Spoiler - click to show)(that looking is cueing, that it has to be done one bar before the instruments enter, and that the whole sequence is quite cleanly described if you examine the score) should be quite evident after some time. Then, the puzzle is essentially solved and it's only a problem of executing the solution, which has the perfect length and is nicely described.
So this game is solid and has a lot of excellent points:
- A cool mechanic
- An unusual setting and subject
- Enjoyable writing, well tailored to the information we need
- Really good presentation, and this is very important, this game looks good and is very very readable
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For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Implementation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Implementation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to...
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall NPCs of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best NPCs 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 Innovation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Innovation 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...