Yet more Comp97 reviews

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John Francis

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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Herewith are some notes on the 30 (Inform & TADS) games I played.
I awarded scores from "3" to "9", distributed as shown below:

Unusable 3: X
Untested 4: XXXXX
Substandard 5: XXXX
Mediocre 6: XXXXX
Acceptable 7: XXXXXXX
Enjoyable 8: XXXX
Excellent 9: XXX

I played the games in the following order, roughly evenly
spaced over the testing period (with a bit of a rush towards
the end). I don't think when I played a game affected the
score *too* much. It did affect the amount of text I tacked
onto these reviews, though. Sorry about that.

1) "Cask" RATING: 4
2) "Glowgrass" RATING: 8
3) "Temple" RATING: 5
4) "A Good Breakfast" RATING: 6
5) "Savannah" RATING: 6
6) "Aunt Nancy's House" RATING: 4
7) "Pintown" RATING: 3
8) "A Family Legacy" (WITHDRAWN) RATING: 0
9) "Friday Afternoon" RATING: 7
10) "The Edifice" RATING: 8
11) "VirtuaTech" RATING: 4
12) "A New Day" RATING: 7
13) "The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang" RATING: 8
14) "Zero Sum Game" RATING: 5
15) "Sins Against Mimesis" RATING: 7
16) "Travels in the Land of Erden" RATING: 6
17) "Phred Phontious and the Quest for Pizza" RATING: 6
18) "Madame L'Estrange and the Trouble Spirit" RATING: 7
19) "Congratulations!" RATING: 4
20) "The Tempest" RATING: 7
21) "The Town Dragon" RATING: 5
22) "Symetry" RATING: 4
23) "The Lost Spellmaker" RATING: 7
24) "She's Got a Thing for a Spring" RATING: 9
25) "Sylenius Mysterium" RATING: 6
26) "The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf" RATING: 6
27) "Coming Home" RATING: 5
28) "Poor Zefron's Almanac" RATING: 9
29) "Zombie!" RATING: 8
30) "A Bear's Night Out" RATING: 9
31) "Babel" RATING: 7

------------------------------------------------------------------

1) "CASK" RATING: 4

Needs better beta testing (or at the very least proofreading)

Too easy to die ("Instant Death" situations)

"X DRUM" doesn't work

Let's play "GUESS-THE-VERB" to enter the drum ...

"PULL WIRE" doesn't work, either.

"X RAT" doeasn't work - "LOOK IN RAT" does.

Finished (using hints) in 30 minutes.

A few good ideas, but some serious flaws in execution, and in
basic understanding of how to use the game creation tools.

------------------------------------------------------------------

2) "Glowgrass" RATING: 8

A few minor spelling errors, and one TADS runtime silliness.

A few cases of multi-level examine.

Can remove the disk while the machine is turned on

Finished in one hour

------------------------------------------------------------------

3) "Temple of the Orc Mage" RATING: 5+

Mostly just multi-level examine (or find which key works),
with no real challenges, just tedium. A lot of unnecessary
areas, too, although this is not necessarily a problem.

In at least a couple of cases (Gem, Sceptre) things didn't
work for me initially (I have no idea why). In fact I never
managed to solve the final puzzle (the Amethyst), even using
the walkthrough.

Minor gripes:
Exits not mentioned in room descriptions
Can't see things inside (open) containers

Plus Point:
Some of the room descriptions strike chords in my memory


Nothing really wrong with it, but nothing outstanding.

------------------------------------------------------------------

4) "A Good Breakfast" RATING: 6

Well, "Examine Posters" doesn't work. A poor start ...
And now I've died an instant death. Hmm.
(I think I've run into the FROTZ unwinnable game bug.)

We'll give this one a "6" for now - it might be "7" if it ran.

------------------------------------------------------------------

5) "Sunset Over Savannah" RATING: 6

I don't know why, but I just didn't like this one very much.
A very linear story with requirements that you notice (and act on)
one-time descriptions (the shingle).
Jumping off the pier holding the brick is very counter-intuitive.
And you are required to be wantonly destructive ...
A shame, because I really like some details.

------------------------------------------------------------------

6) "Aunt Nancy's House" RATING: 4

Utterly pointless. Technically (fairly) well done, with only a
few poor descriptions (Rebecca's room, the basement).

------------------------------------------------------------------

7) "Pintown" RATING: 3

Some clumsiness in terminology (beer underlay, and this:)

You can see a sidewalk here.

> Examine sidewalk
The sidewalk is trafficated by people minding their business.


Unfortunately, "Turn Van On" dies with "illegal attribute number"
So I guess I'm going to have to give this a "3" for now.

------------------------------------------------------------------

8) "The Family Legacy" (WITHDRAWN) RATING: 0

------------------------------------------------------------------

9) "Friday Afternoon" RATING: 7

I don't know why I'm giving it 7, not 8 - just a feeling, I guess.
Nothing wrong with it, although I found the sugarcube particularly
non-intuitive. Basically, it's "Ask Benny about everything ...."

------------------------------------------------------------------

10) "The Edifice" RATING: 8

(or: technology recapitulates anthropology)
This starts out *so* well.
But when I light the fire, frotz goes into an endless loop.
I'll see if there is a new version of Frotz ..
Well, there is, but it doesn't fix it.
(Later). But "Get grass" does. Now I'm in level two, and
have just found another fatal bug (point to sw).
Two hours are up, but even with the flaws I'm rating it 8


------------------------------------------------------------------

11) "VirtuaTech" RATING: 4

Not a good start: "Examine virtuaphone" fails.
Played around some more, but found it excessively tiresome.
It's conceptually easy to solve the problems I've found so
far, but it is necessary to type a lot of repetitive stuff
in order to advance the solution. Move the scanner to here,
plug it in, .....

------------------------------------------------------------------

12) "A New Day" RATING: 7

OK puzzles, I suppose. But it seems easy to get stuck in a dead
end (what happens if you don't find the first key?). I quit at
the end of the terrorist complex because I couldn't get out of
the area - the walkthrough didn't seem to help, either.
I don't like the vacillation between immersion and observation,
either. (loss of mimesis ...)

------------------------------------------------------------------

13) "The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang" RATING: 8

What I've seen so far, I like. But I'm currently stuck in an
early part (I can't get off the bus).
I'll come back to this one later.

Silly bugs:
Once you sit down on the bus, you can't see the farebox.
And you can't stand up, either.

Is failing to find the housekeys a serious problem?

------------------------------------------------------------------

14) "Zero Sum Game" RATING: 5

Too much Sex and Violence.
A novel idea, but definitely lacking in the details.
Most of the actual puzzles are, let's face it, pretty trivial.
And killing your friends shouldn't be necessary.
Mechanically and technically solid, but conceptually flawed.
And, to top it off, it claims to violate the 2hr limit?

------------------------------------------------------------------

15) "Sins Against Mimesis" RATING: 7

Short, simple, funny. Too much of an in joke, though. But a
game that requires "PUT STIFFY IN COMPUTER" deserves praise.

------------------------------------------------------------------

16) "Travels in the Land of Erden" RATING: 6

Very beautiful, but I don't seem able to do much.
I've been to places, found stuff, and met people. Now what?
And the two hour time limit is nearly up ...

------------------------------------------------------------------

17) "Phred Phontious and the Quest for Pizza" RATING: 6

Technically well done, but:

If you don't "PULL THE HOOK" (and why should you?), you won't
get anywhere with this game. If you do, it degenerates into
"ASK PHIL ABOUT EVERYTHING". Tries (too) hard to be funny.
Add instant death scenarios, and it ends up with a "6".

------------------------------------------------------------------

18) "Madame L'Estrange and the Trouble Spirit" RATING: 7

First impressions: This looks interesting (and different)!
There's an ugly clash of tenses right after the introduction -
"Jones left. Wood crackles in the fireplace".
This continues: most long passages are in the past tense.
That's a shame, because it grates, which spoils the flow of
the narrative, as does the second/third person confusion.
Minor spelling errors: "The pylon is open at them moment ..."
"Nobody in the building who new him much"
also seems to have a lot of difficulty formatting text - I
keep getting words run together, left-over words at the end
of the line, etc. (possibly an interpreter bug, but I don't
seem to have this problem with other games!).
I've run out of time (and still scored no points?). Give it 7

------------------------------------------------------------------

19) "Congratulations!" RATING: 4

Upstairs - which way? Some directions would be nice.
Huh? Now where's the damn baby? Oh - I'm carrying it.
Feed it. So I can't; I'll put it down in the crib. Hmm.
Let's look for somewhere else to put it. Oh. I guess I
must have managed to put it down after all. Well, let's
go back and feed it, then. What do you mean "I can't"?
I don't have much more time to mess with this - it obviously
hasn't had adequate playtesting. I'll just try the obvious
stuff to see what happens next ... That's it??
I solved this turkey in 5 minutes, including the time taken
to write this review. It's getting a "4"

------------------------------------------------------------------

20) "The Tempest" RATING: 7

I already knew pretty much what to expect here from the
discussions in r.a.i-f. Playing around for five minutes
confirmed my expectations were accurate. So what to do now?
It's apparent that two hours won't be enough to finish this
off, and I don't want to rush through it.
I think it's a great idea. Is it a great game? Harder.
Is it a great competiton game? I don't think so.
I could give this anywhere from 5 to 9, but I think it's a 7

------------------------------------------------------------------

21) "The Town Dragon" RATING: 5

Well, I died twice while doing initial exploring.
And "Hint" wouldn't - it told me to look around.
So I tried the walkthrough. Apparently my first move,
"volunteer", (which scored five points) was wrong.
So I tried to obey the walkthrough.
S.W.Examine Mirror.Get It doesn't work - the game
has apparently reset "it" to be my reflection.
I don't think this is worth more than 5.
And, looking at the "STORY", I think that's generous.
A Maze, countdown timers, etc., etc. Far too many ways
to render the game unwinnable without explanation.

------------------------------------------------------------------

22) "Symetry" RATING: 4

Oh dear. My favourite author (NOT). I still shudder when I
think of the Comp96 games he submitted. Still, maybe things
have improved. So where is the game? Why is the game called
"symetry"(sic), while in a directory called "reflect"?

My, my! Splendid prose! Unfortunately it's still riddled
with spelling errors, etc. - obviously this wasn't tested.
And he *still* insists on using "leak" as if it were synonymous
with mirror, rather than an odd author's eccentric conceit.
So, let's read the letter. Hmm. Now why does a gas lamp
contain oil? OK - maybe I need to lie on the bed (although
I don't know why - the lamp claims to give enough light to
read by). What do you mean, I'm already there? I'm standing
in my bedroom, with soft cedar wood cushioning my feet.
And if I can't lie down, then why does everything go dark!
Untested, uninformative, and definitely non-intuitive. 4.

------------------------------------------------------------------

23) "The Lost Spellmaker" RATING: 7

Aaah. Sweet relief! A game that actually appears to have
been tested, and even appears to work properly. So ...

Well, I've been everywhere, and all seems to be well written.
A quick peek at the walkthrough and it's all solved. But ...
Just why you should do certain things is a mystery. The jar
of sweets (hidden through obscurity) - why give sweets to a
cow, anyway? Solving Mrs. Wisher requires knowledge that
only comes through a prior game. You obviously want someone
to turn the crank, so I suppose Digga is a reasonable choice,
but it's a little disappointing to find he/she is a red herring.
Not as disappointing, though, as the whole ending; what on
earth suggests that leading Silk to the library is worthwhile?
Overall, too much dependence on waiting for just the right
momemt before doing something. Still, definitely worth a "7"

------------------------------------------------------------------

24) "She's Got a Thing for a Spring" RATING: 9

Excellent concept and style. Unfortunately marred by a few
silly implementation details. The description of the rockpile
doesn't mention the paths, important though they are. Come
to that, you can examine the pika even though it isn't in
the location description, either. Similarly, behind the
house, there is (apparently) a paint stick - it certainly
comes up as a ambiguous when you say "put roll on stick".
Interaction with Bob is another area with problems; I tried
to say "bob,yes" when he asked me if I wanted a sandwich.
Obviously this isn't right. Unfortunately it's too late.

Other problems: I didn't see anything to suggest that
(a) the boulders could be climbed or (b) this would, in
any way, be a place to hide from the moose. This is my
fault, probably, but it reduced me to the walkthrough.
But, most seriously, it was very hard to act like the
traditional adventurer (look at everything; take anything
that isn't nailed down) around the cabin. This was,
ironically, because Bob was such a well-described character
that I didn't want to steal from him.

Definitely my favourite game so far, though. I'm giving it 9.

------------------------------------------------------------------

25) "Sylenius Mysterium" RATING: 6

Not bad, so far. Minor irritations: I really shouldn't have
to go through all the grief (open bookbag. get wallet. open
it. get $20 bill) just to buy a stupid book. That's not a
real hard problem - it's just tedious.
(later) I was having great difficulty interacting with Margot;
she seems particularly sensitive to when you perform certain
actions, but there is inadequate feedback to indicate that you
have done the correct thing.
All in all, too easy to get into a can't-win situation. And I
never got into the fun stuff other folks have hinted at.
I can't bring myself to give this more than a "6".

------------------------------------------------------------------

26) "The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf" RATING: 6

Hmm. Several puzzles seem just thrown in for no reason. Many
of the items feel that way, too. And what appears to be the
right solution to a puzzle isn't (e.g. the screw & screwdriver).
And if you haven't found the hammer, the message you get from
attacking the control panel is just a default "doesn't work".
Vocabulary closure is lacking, too - it tells me all about the
ventilation shaft, but it doesn't know the word "shaft".
I fount it mechanically OK, but uninspiring. Another "6"

------------------------------------------------------------------

27) "Coming Home" RATING: 5

Well, we're off to a *bad* start. Examine plaque doesn't work.
Nor does "Examine cats". Nor does "WEST" (the logical way to
get to the garage, I thought. But I seem to be already there).
Vocabulary closure is definitely a problem here - the barbeque
isn't really there, either. Examining the door from the back
yard tells me something about a carpet. What carpet? Nobody
has told me anything about a carpet!
It would be nice if somebody told me what directions were
available for movement, too. This is getting tiresome.
Oh great - now I'm getting hungry. Just what I needed.
And the car is a pretty stupid puzzle, now isn't it?
In fact I'm starving to death. Nope - this is not fun. A "5"

------------------------------------------------------------------

28) "Poor Zefron's Almanac" RATING: 8

Aah - a game that appears to be well-structured, and well put
together. It still has the occasional TADS stupidity, mind you;
you can examine the almanac while still on your sleeping mat,
but you can't read the current page.
OK - I've played around a lot more. Some very nice puzzles.
A little hard, at times, to konw what to do next. Worth a "9"

------------------------------------------------------------------

29) "Zombie!" RATING: 8

Interesting (or at least different) concept.
Connecting the head to the speaker is a "guess the verb" puzzle.
Vocabulary closure is a problem, too - it doesn't know the word
'violet', even though it uses it to describe the note. It doesn't
know the word 'recipe', either.
Apart from that, though, it all looks pretty well done. An "8"

------------------------------------------------------------------

30) "A Bear's Night Out" RATING: 9

I like it! An unusual character, interesting puzzles, and
some in-jokes for the r.g.i-f regulars. That's another "9"

------------------------------------------------------------------

31) "Babel" RATING: 7

OK, but somehow it just din't manage to grip me very much.
Some innovative ideas, but just not my style. "7", I guess.

------------------------------------------------------------------
--
John Francis jfra...@sgi.com Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(650)933-8295 2011 N. Shoreline Blvd. MS 43U-991
(650)933-4692 (Fax) Mountain View, CA 94043-1389
Unsolicited electronic mail will be subject to a $100 handling fee.

Mark Stevens

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On 6 Jan 1998 00:36:44 GMT, jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John
Francis) wrote:

>13) "The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang" RATING: 8

>Silly bugs:


> Once you sit down on the bus, you can't see the farebox.
> And you can't stand up, either.

Another bug involving the bus. Save your game just before you approach
the bus-stops (outside your house). Restore it, head to the bus-stop
and the buses never come.

Stephen Granade

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On Tue, 6 Jan 1998, Mark Stevens wrote:

[In a discussion about "Frenetic 5"]


> Another bug involving the bus. Save your game just before you approach
> the bus-stops (outside your house). Restore it, head to the bus-stop
> and the buses never come.

This sounds a lot like the "TADS restore daemon bug" which plagued the
GO32 version of the TADS runtime and has since been fixed. Which
interpreter are you using? If you're using Dave Baggett's GO32 interpreter
for MSDOS and it's not version 2.2.1.1, get thee to the archive and fetch
the latest version.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade | Interested in adventure games?
sgra...@phy.duke.edu | Check out
Duke University, Physics Dept | http://interactfiction.miningco.com


Christine Simoes Tilden

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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On 6 Jan 1998 00:36:44 GMT, jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John
Francis) wrote:
>
>13) "The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang" RATING: 8
>
>What I've seen so far, I like. But I'm currently stuck in an
>early part (I can't get off the bus).
>I'll come back to this one later.
>
>Silly bugs:
> Once you sit down on the bus, you can't see the farebox.
> And you can't stand up, either.

I personally don't mind not seeing the farebox - after all maybe it's
blocked by the other passengers, or the backs of the seats....and
maybe you can't stand up because the bus is really, really crowded...

CST


Mark J Musante

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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Mark Stevens (ma...@sonance.demon.co.uk) wrote:
> On 6 Jan 1998 00:36:44 GMT, jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John
> Francis) wrote:
>
> >13) "The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang" RATING: 8
>
> >Silly bugs:
> > Once you sit down on the bus, you can't see the farebox.
> > And you can't stand up, either.
>
> Another bug involving the bus. Save your game just before you approach
> the bus-stops (outside your house). Restore it, head to the bus-stop
> and the buses never come.

This sounds like the TADS daemon bug that was found & fixed a while
ago. Try using a newer version of the TADS runtime and see if it
fixes this problem.


-=- Mark -=-

Joe Mason

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Jan 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/6/98
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In article <68ruas$5l...@fido.asd.sgi.com>,
John Francis <jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com> wrote:

(About Sunset Over Savannah)

>And you are required to be wantonly destructive ...

Oh yeah, I meant to mention this in my reply to Paul O'Brien:

Odd that he had such a problem with the toilet paper in "She's Got a Thing For
a Spring", but not with the destructiveness in Sunset, which I thought was
much more out of character. Its a rare piece of IF that actually makes me
question the ethics of the "take everything" mentality of the genre, and
Sunset made me question it because the world was so detailed it seemed my
actions should have deeper consequences: yet it completely ignored the moral
issue, and painted the character as as much of a larcenous villain as any
adventurer that ever lived.

>22) "Symetry" RATING: 4
>
>Oh dear. My favourite author (NOT). I still shudder when I
>think of the Comp96 games he submitted. Still, maybe things
>have improved. So where is the game? Why is the game called
>"symetry"(sic), while in a directory called "reflect"?
>
>My, my! Splendid prose! Unfortunately it's still riddled
>with spelling errors, etc. - obviously this wasn't tested.
>And he *still* insists on using "leak" as if it were synonymous
>with mirror, rather than an odd author's eccentric conceit.
>So, let's read the letter. Hmm. Now why does a gas lamp
>contain oil? OK - maybe I need to lie on the bed (although
>I don't know why - the lamp claims to give enough light to
>read by). What do you mean, I'm already there? I'm standing
>in my bedroom, with soft cedar wood cushioning my feet.
>And if I can't lie down, then why does everything go dark!
>Untested, uninformative, and definitely non-intuitive. 4.

Once again, Rybread Celcius, I commend to you the I-F Collaborator's List!
I really was impressed by the premise of this game: it was a neat idea. And
you must admit, it was a step up from last year. But definitely, actually
showing these things to somebody else would be a big help.

Doh! Once again I snipped the title: this time it was "Coming Home":

>Oh great - now I'm getting hungry. Just what I needed.
>And the car is a pretty stupid puzzle, now isn't it?
>In fact I'm starving to death. Nope - this is not fun. A "5"

Oh yeah, about Coming Home: I call MiSTing rights! No game, not even
Rybread at his worst, has ever called out for a good MiSTing like this one
has.

Joe

Rybread Celsius

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Jan 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/7/98
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>Once again, Rybread Celcius, I commend to you the I-F Collaborator's List!
>I really was impressed by the premise of this game: it was a neat idea. And
>you must admit, it was a step up from last year. But definitely, actually
>showing these things to somebody else would be a big help.

O, i found a a callaborater all right. Muhahahahahaha...he actually wrote one
of the better games this competition, but I'm still doing the coding. See ya in
February

>Oh yeah, about Coming Home: I call MiSTing rights! No game, not even
>Rybread at his worst, has ever called out for a good MiSTing like this one
>has.

Drat,
Sit Vis cum te
peace___anarchyfreedompunkinteractivefictionslackantiinfinityyellowoi!2o3.
/ -\--- Rotund \/ ! "Live long & | ryb...@anok4u2.org
(/ ) Pigeon \00_| fuck off!!" |Pure Nihilism: Emu, Japan, Punk
\o-o/ _||_ Riot Nrrrd | www.digivill.net/~dayeight


Gunther Schmidl

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Jan 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/7/98
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>>Oh yeah, about Coming Home: I call MiSTing rights! No game, not even
>>Rybread at his worst, has ever called out for a good MiSTing like this one
>>has.

No. I think *this* would be the game that would send the MST crew screaming
into the abyss of madness as the Doctor had always wanted.

--

+------------------------+----------------------------------------------+
+ Gunther Schmidl + "I couldn't help it. I can resist everything +
+ Ferd.-Markl-Str. 39/16 + except temptation" -- Oscar Wilde +
+ A-4040 LINZ +----------------------------------------------+
+ Tel: 0732 25 28 57 + http://gschmidl.home.ml.org - new & improved +
+------------------------+---+------------------------------------------+
+ sothoth (at) usa (dot) net + please remove the "xxx." before replying +
+----------------------------+------------------------------------------+


Stu042

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Jan 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/7/98
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In article <68ruas$5l...@fido.asd.sgi.com>, jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com (John
Francis) writes:

>4) "A Good Breakfast" RATING: 6
>
>Well, "Examine Posters" doesn't work. A poor start ...

Ack. Guilty as charged. I thought I'd put them in, too.

>And now I've died an instant death. Hmm.
>(I think I've run into the FROTZ unwinnable game bug.)

Instant death? Where? The only ways of dying are running out of time (after 300
turns; enough for anyone in a game this size, surely?) and... well, being a
naughty boy (or girl). If it's neither of these, I'd appreciate knowing how and
where it happened.

>We'll give this one a "6" for now - it might be "7" if it ran.

Ta. I actually think this is the highest mark I've seen it get so far :(

Stuart

Paul O'Brian

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Jan 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/8/98
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On Tue, 6 Jan 1998, Joe Mason wrote:

> In article <68ruas$5l...@fido.asd.sgi.com>,
> John Francis <jfra...@dungeon.engr.sgi.com> wrote:
>
> (About Sunset Over Savannah)
>

> >And you are required to be wantonly destructive ...
>

> Oh yeah, I meant to mention this in my reply to Paul O'Brien:
>
> Odd that he had such a problem with the toilet paper in "She's Got a Thing For
> a Spring", but not with the destructiveness in Sunset, which I thought was
> much more out of character. Its a rare piece of IF that actually makes me
> question the ethics of the "take everything" mentality of the genre, and
> Sunset made me question it because the world was so detailed it seemed my
> actions should have deeper consequences: yet it completely ignored the moral
> issue, and painted the character as as much of a larcenous villain as any
> adventurer that ever lived.

Hmm. You make a good point. After I read your post, I tried to examine the
reasons behind this inconsistency, and here's what I came up with:

1) I finished Spring, but didn't finish Sunset. I wrote my reviews
after having played the game in question for two hours, or until I'd
solved it (whichever came first). Consequently, there may be some actions
in Sunset which I didn't take (because I ran out of time) which would have
changed my opinion about the moral issues involved.

2) Still, thinking back I can remember some theft and destruction in the
parts of Sunset I saw (I'm thinking about the recycle bins here). I think
that part of the reason why the theft in Spring bothered me so much was
that I was stealing from such a kind and hospitable person. Somehow
stealing the only roll of toilet paper from a nice guy who just made you
lunch feels a little different than taking the recycle bin from a public
pavilion's storage room. A puzzle in Sunset which, for example, required
me to push the old fisherman off the pier, or to steal his bucket of fish,
would have raised flags for me immediately.

3) I thought that the puzzles were one of Sunset's weaker points. As I
mentioned in my review, I only spent the last half-hour of playing time on
the puzzles, so the bulk of my impressions had been formed before I solved
a single puzzle. I was disappointed with the glass puzzle because it
seemed unsolvable without seriously littering the beach (or seeming to,
anyway), but I was mainly solving it to see more of the game at that
point.

Still, I agree that Sunset would be a better game if its design permitted
you to find the magic and wonder in your life without criminal or
unethical actions. The same goes for Spring. It's interesting how many
things those two games have in common: realistic setting, hints of
magic... and shaky ethical ground.

Paul O'Brian obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu
"I think it's important to remember that no one falls into a simple set of
labels. Even more important is to learn from your mistakes, and to fight
for the positive choice." -- Lindsey Buckingham

Joe Mason

unread,
Jan 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM1/8/98
to

In article <19980107190...@ladder02.news.aol.com>,

Stu042 <stu...@aol.com> wrote:
>
>>We'll give this one a "6" for now - it might be "7" if it ran.
>
>Ta. I actually think this is the highest mark I've seen it get so far :(

I believe I gave it a 7 - I've left my marks file at home (that's HOME home,
the one that's a ten hour drive from here, not residence, which is five
minutes walk). It might have been a 6 - I remember being pissed off about
the fatal bug as well.

Joe

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