Thursday, November 15, 2018
IFComp 2018 - Five Short Reviews
** ORIGIN OF MADAME TIME - BRIAN RUSHTON **
I don’t recall trying the story that this is the sequel to but I recognize this veteran authors name and it’s a parser-based game, so I wanted to give it a shot. In this game you play a female with the super power to stop time. Now that time has stopped, you have to sort through scenarios frozen in time to get the superheroes out of the theme park. “TAKE”ing everyone as if they were static objects did feel a little awkward but I’m not sure would verb would have even been better.
There are ways to trap yourself and meet other bad endings, and I had to use the walkthrough to get to the proper ending. Had I not resorted to that, this line probably would have really nagged me:
“You have the worrying feeling that you’re forgetting something. But it might just be nerves.“ (Argh! Now I feel really insecure about this!)
This isn’t a bad game, but I feel it would have really frustrated me without a walkthrough. There’s some good humor, scenery descriptions, and the story isn’t long-winded or hard to follow.
** PEGASUS - MICHAEL KIELSTRA **
In this one you are basically playing some sort of futuristic future agent. After a brief intro screen you are sent into a training mission only carrying a rifle and wearing body armor. There is a simplified choice-based conversation system here which is always welcome to me. The story shifts from different periods in the characters past like flashbacks. It’s quick with not a lot of description, but effective.
A bit more story and ending text would have been cool here but the way it is helps reflect the bleakness of the future portrayed.
** TERMINAL INTERFACE FOR MODELS RCM301-303 - VIGIMECH CORPORATION **
This is an interesting one that I did have a lot of fun with. It’s not very traditional in respect to commands, movement, etc. However, I think this is one of the strong points because you are controlling a mechanized industrial vehicle while getting pointers from a fellow in some amusing dialogue. There is no walkthrough present, but if you are patient you should be able to complete the story fine without one.
Without spoiling anything for someone who has never played this one.. all is not what it seems here. This is made even more effective due to the fact that in the beginning it’s a bit hard to grasp what’s even going on to begin with.
** THE FORGOTTEN TAVERN - PETER M.J. GROSS **
As you may have gathered from my previous reviews I’m generally not a fan of “choice-based” games, but there have been some exceptions.The premise of this one in the entry preview sounded a bit interesting and mysterious. It definitely got mysterious. You have been taken in by two peculiar NPCs with unknown motives. The combat can get a bit repetitive but overall OKnot a bad game. I wish I was given a bit more background on the NPCs and the strange happenings of things on the other side of a particular door, but I suppose too much explanation would be a bad thing in this story.
** NIGHTMARE ADVENTURE - LAURENCE EMMS, VIBHA LAIJANI **
This is a text parser game but seems to have been made from scratch rather than using a popular language like TADS, Inform, Hugo, etc. This parser took some getting used to. For instance, you can not use the command “SOUTH”, rather you must use “GO SOUTH” or “GO OUT FRONT DOOR”.
While I enjoyed the introduction of a new parser that was compatible with most OS terminals, I found the experience a bit frustrating.. the “USE” command is a bit ambiguous as well as other commands, but I can’t really say this is a bad game either. If anything, this game gets a point due to not being yet another choice-based game (heh-heh).