The Lord High Executioner's Comp99 Reviews: The Wierd Ones

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Quentin.D.Thompson

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Nov 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/20/99
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[This post deals with the games that I found just plain weird.]

OUTSIDED: OK, for starters, the author found a new way of misspelling
'restaurant'. Secondly, he's converted the Photopia colour code into a thing
of beauty :). And thirdly, I didn't expect to see Inform give me a message
like "I don't suppose the little Ms. Unfortunate would care for that" in the
entire Comp. So, folks, this is Inform's "Detective", in the guise of a bad
Van Damme movie. Can you say "All hail Matt Barringer"? I did. MST Crew,
whither art thou?

L.U.D.I.T.E.: Boo. Rybread gets religion. (Okay, major spoiler). I still
preferred Symetry and Limp.

Chix Dig Jerks: I found this funny. I really did. I even didn't mind what
would normally set the pedant in me fuming (i.e., Napoleon spelt 'Napolean').
But I have a few problems with the AIF scene in the middle. It simply wasn't
done well enough: after the good writing earlier on, I expected more. Also,
the grave-robbing plot was never made clear. Also, it crashed several times.
So I'm saying "honourable attempt", but there's always room for improvement.

Bliss: Orcs? Dragons? Margoth?? What the -? Sorry, the ending didn't produce
a massive turnaround of opinion, perhaps because I _have_ done just a little
psychiatry as part of the Great Curriculum, and I don't think the portrayal
of mental illness was that convincing. I give this an A for intentions, but a
C for results.

Stone Cell: Now this was _weird_. The first optional puzzle expected an
eleven-year-old country girl to think of a devious puzzle involving
menstruation, of all things. That's not all: the whole game played like an
extended run of +=3, with every damn important object hidden from room
descriptions even when I turned VERBOSITY on. The 'optimal' ending (the
Claretrime thing), in my opinion, was lame. It sounded like bad Edgar Allan
Poe. I'd like to see just a little more attention to objects. Also, I don't
think any lord would think a girl with a sheet was a ghost. But then, I don't
know too many lords.

For A Change: I started this up, played a few turns, mouthed two words: "So
Far", and turned it off. Went back to it, and said "So Far" again. Noodled
around for 2 hopurs without achieving anything. Thought it was another Of
Forms Unknown. And then I find (come review time) it's the most significant
and artistic work of I-F in the Comp, outracing Zarf. You don't know what a
Philistine I felt like. I felt like a caveman at a society dinner, trying to
carve a chicken with a candlestick.

Next post: a few weird ones, and some of the "ARGH! LEMME OUT, SERVO!" ones.


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Before you buy.

Patrick Hardlentil

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Nov 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/21/99
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Might spoil the fun of For a Change for the *very* sensitive...

Quentin.D.Thompson <stup...@my-deja.com> writes:

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> For A Change: I started this up, played a few turns, mouthed two words: "So
> Far", and turned it off. Went back to it, and said "So Far" again. Noodled

It kept reminding me of _So Far_, too, in many ways: the off-kilter
language, surreal settings, the you-work-it-out inscrutability and
even (obliquely) the title. But _For a Change_ is shorter, easier,
fairer and based mostly on a single, elegant conceit rather than a
welter of fiendish puzzles. And it is so very elegant. I don't think
the similarities with _So Far_ detract from _FaC_. I loved them both,
like milk chocolate and dark.

> And then I find (come review time) it's the most significant and
> artistic work of I-F in the Comp, outracing Zarf. You don't know
> what a Philistine I felt like. I felt like a caveman at a society
> dinner, trying to carve a chicken with a candlestick.

Heh. That's usually me.

Cheers,
--
| Patrick Hardlentil ... pat...@dogslobber.demon.co.uk

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