Rameses (high 7):
Whoever complains about this game because of the swearing is just a big
fat prissypants. Solid writing, lovely Irish cadences. I think we all
have thoughts that are cowardly and unkind, like those of the PC (ie,
'I like the girl, but she has a mole on her face and if I go out with
her, people will laugh'). It’d be an overstatement to say that the game
exploded with resonance for me, but there were many moments of
recognition, points at which I nodded my head and thought, ‘he did
that just right’.
Being Andrew Plotkin (7):
Fun, funny, well-written... a worthy diversion. The ifMUD part is
delightful. I larfed and larfed at the line "It's clobberin' time".
In terms of audience accessibility, the game is a bit iffy -- unless
you’re familiar with ifMUD and the movie Being John Malkovich, it won’t
make a heck of a lot of sense.Then again, you can’t understand T.S.
Eliot’s “The Waste Land” without wading through ten pages of
explanatory footnotes, and everyone calls *that* a masterpiece. And “The
Waste Land” didn’t even contain the line “it’s clobberin’ time”! I
think it’s clear who the winner is here.
Got ID? (7):
Structurally, it’s a standard puzzly thing. What sets it above the
other standard puzzly things is that it’s chock-full of uncommonly
amusing zingers. I laughed out loud many times. The various deaths and
endings are all entertaining (I especially like the response to >SING).
The puzzles were neither offensively easy nor frustratingly hard. In
the end, the wicked are punished. It was a good time.
And The Waves Choke The Wind (6):
“Oh, the blithery, blathery pirate
(his name, I believe, is Claude)
His manner is sullen and irate,
And his humor is vulgar and broad.
He’s a scoundrel, a wretch and a sinner
He’s as foul as a fellow can be
But if you invite him to dinner
Oh, please let him sit next to me!”
- Shel Silverstein (probably slightly misquoted)
I think I probably graded this game a bit high, simply because it was
so novel for me to be a sexy swashbuckling pirate and get in on some
vicarious hot boy-boy smoochies.
Thus far the game is only a preview, so I didn’t quite know how to
grade it. Definitely want to play the rest. The horror/adventure stuff
was okay, but I was completely pruriently thrilled by the yo-ho-
homoerotic parts. Yes, that's a peg-leg in in pants -- and yes, I *am*
happy to see you.
=Not Entirely Meritless Games=
Castle Amnos (4):
There are aspects of the game that I liked -- the writing is competent,
and I encountered some intriguing descriptions and leads. Mainly,
though, it’s a case of Just Not My Thing. I am not a map-drawer, and
Castle Amnos is humongous and easy to get lost in. I can’t abide
limited inventories, realism be damned. I’d also like to have seen some
deeper description -- that is, instead of having a million octillion
shallowly implemented locations and objects, why not spend some time
describing a few locations and objects really well? There are too many
“you can’t see any such thing” messages -- ideally, I’d like for there
to be a description for everything in the room, even if it’s stuff that
the player doesn’t need to refer to. Makes for a much more magically
delicious playing experience.
The Trip (3):
There are a few amusing turns-of-phrase, like “Gary smokes some weed
out of the founder of one of the world’s largest religions” -- but the
game never fully engaged me. Also, the ending is philosophically
problematic. If science and technology are “killing people’s souls”,
it’s pretty ironic that you’re trying to ameliorate the situation by
writing a computer game about it. Also, I suspect that the talking fox
is lifted from the Simpsons episode in which Homer eats a really hot
pepper and has a psychedelic vision. Credit where credit is due.
Stupid Kittens (3):
You could remove the “kittens” part of the title and still get a pretty
good idea of the game. It did, however, make me laugh a few times. The
image of Jennifer Love Hewitt encased in carbonite is worth a few
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Before you buy.