A Crimson Spring

by Robb Sherwin profile


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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

I would have enjoyed the game lots more had it been bug-free, even without its illustrations. A Crimson Spring puts you behind the mask of a dark superhero on a mission of justice, but in the end, it only defeats itself.

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- Edo, June 25, 2020

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A gritty and vulgar but descriptive superhero game with battle system , July 30, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This was Sherwin’s second IFComp game. It toned down the sexuality, but there are still quite a few inventive vulgar descriptions throughout the game.

This is an intense story (using a menu based conversational system) about superheroes in love and revenge. There are quite a few superheroes in this game, including some old familiar ones (an ice-guy) and also some innovative ones.

Outside of the vulgarity, the story is intriguing and even touching.

- Sam Kabo Ashwell (Seattle), April 16, 2012

- Jonathan Blask (Milwaukee, WI, USA), April 4, 2011

- Johnny, November 17, 2010

- winky, February 24, 2009

- schifter (Louisville, KY), August 17, 2008

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Many interesting things, but very immature, August 13, 2008
by Maze (Rome, Italy)

This is a story game, with just a few and very simple puzzles in between. You are a superhero. Your superhero-lover has been killed (with a great deal of cruelty in between). You want to avenge her and start on a quest of your own, with some help from your superhero friends.

The good:
The plot is interesting. The background is interesting. The story is interesting. The gritty and cynical take on superheroes is interesting (reminded me of Pat Mills' Marshal Law comics). The moral decisions are interesting. In short: many interesting things around. Also, there is music and pictures.

The bad:
All the interesting stuff I mentioned before was weakly developed. The plot misses many points. After some time the background looks depth-less. The story often looks inconsequential. Though you are left to your own moral decisions, you always feel like the author is judging you (and not objectively). Also, the music is bad. And the same goes for most of the pictures (the photo-retouchings for some areas are nice, but the hand-made drawings are not, and can really ruin the atmosphere, especially in the last part).
Other than that, it's filled with story-bugs (like things happening when they shouldn't, or contradictory statements), game-bugs (like the parser saying a person is not there while instead he is) and parser-holes (like a desk being mentioned and, if you try referring to it, getting an answer like "the word 'desk' is not recognized by the game").
Finally - but this is purely a personal judgment - I disliked the game's social, religious, and political approach. Even considering that the game is written in first person (and thus the author had to interpret a gritty superhero's thoughts, which might not have been his own), it's superficiality on some matter was very annoying. But again, it was very annoying to ME: this is personal.

In the end, i found this game very immature, in all it's aspects. But, as I said, there were also many - undeveloped - interesting things. Thus, I look forward to playing Sherwin's following games: confident that, with time and experience, his qualities will have grown.
Anyway, if you're into dark and gritty almost-puzzle-less stories, you might want to give this a try. Yes, there are bugs, but they don't totally ruin the game, and you might find some of those interesting things inside.

Baf's Guide

A thoroughly dark superhero game--you're a superhero out to avenge your girlfriend's (gruesome and minutely described) death. The multimedia aspect is good (the sound is better than the graphics), the writing's strong, and the plot is fairly complex--and the PC is nicely rendered as well; this is no stock jut-jawed invincible superhero. There are some implementation problems, though--at one point, SEARCH ROOM is a required command), and some of the event triggers are easy to miss. Plenty of sex and violence here, so this is not for the faint of heart.

-- Duncan Stevens

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