Spring Thing 2009 - Notes on "Vague"

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Michael Neal Tenuis

May 3, 2009, 1:52:42 PM5/3/09
Vague, by Richard Otter

In one line: It's an advertisement for the author's previous games.

This one has you starting out as a completely blank slate. You are
thrown into a series of locations from the author's previous games and
have to carry out some rather unexciting get-and-deliver-quests.
It's a bit hard to get your bearings at first, because there are
asymmetrical map connections (one can't help but think that the author
copied the room descriptions from his other games verbatim). A PDF map
of the game was included, but for fear of spoilers, I didn't look at
that until I had nearly completed the game.

It was competently written and showed off a wide variety of settings and
(possible) plots, although not in detail, rather in the form of a collage.
There were funny moments when the game repeatedly mocked IF conventions
and broke the fourth wall.
The ending (something like a heavily foreshadowed surprise ending) tied
everything together, in a way.

If the author wanted to make the player curious about his other games,
well, then he succeeded with me. "Escape to New York", about a thief on
an ocean liner, and "Unauthorized Termination", about a totalitarian
robot state, sounded especially interesting. I also liked the settings
for "Darkness" (a lighthouse) and "Target" (the roof of a high-rise).

I rank it fourth among the four Spring Thing 2009 games.


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