[Comp03] Larry & Robin's Reviews [3/3]

2 views
Skip to first unread message

Larry Kwong

unread,
Nov 18, 2003, 12:55:41 AM11/18/03
to

The President of the United States of America
6.5

I mentioned something earlier about not wanting to play a game because
it wasn’t even silly fun. Okay, well, this is silly fun. A very trivial
game, but a guilty pleasure. I can’t help but imagine an old white guy
in a sombrero with a huge grin on his face walking jauntily around the
world like a madman. No, the puzzles didn’t make much sense (nor did the
premise of the game, really), but it was a fresh idea that was done with
some taste. Not much more can be said, I think...

Finished? Yes.

Aside: The whole game seems like one big aside. At least it’s not a big
in-joke.


Adoo’s Stinky Story
3.4

Despite some reasonable puzzles, I just couldn’t pry myself away from
the dull setting, stupid NPCs, and extremely idiotic quest. I won’t even
bother asking why the stink bomb was put together the way it was. I’ll
just assume the author is in his early teens, because then there’s a
good excuse.

In any case, I don’t see why every object in the room, including the
doors, have to be mentioned in the room description (yes, I know it’s a
coding thing). Crimes against mimesis indeed. Nothing came alive for me
at all, and I relied a lot on the (admittedly well-done) hints system.

[Spoiler] Why did the copper batteries not work? Not enough clues for
that. It just made me think that the batteries weren’t the solution at
all. An alternate description of shooting the gun with the copper
batteries inside would have helped, like "The gun sputters with a bit
more life this time, but still emits nothing."

Finished? Yes. And quite unfulfilling. Seems like another coding
exercise with a hasty plot slapped on.

Aside: I get the feeling the dad is allergic to the PC...


Temple of Kaos
5.8

There’s something to be said for cleverness, but the cleverness of the
poetry here seems forced. The puzzles are made difficult by the language
rather than by their nature. So it seems I’m left with judging the
gimmick rather than the game... and yet I feel I have to give it a
reasonably high score for both originality and temerity.

The main problem is that there is no introduction to the poetry, and the
world created by the writing is not sufficiently poetic enough to
justify the medium on its own. I would have felt much more comfortable
had the game begun in a poetry reading session, with the text coming
alive through its beauty rather than through its literal transition to
an IF format (within the plot, that is). Still, it break new ground that
I hope other authors will try to improve on.

Finished? Yes.

Aside: I can’t wait for the sequel: Temple of Control.


Domicile
2.9
(with Roberta)

Having grown up with Adventure and Zork, we once took it for granted
that not every last noun would be implemented. Alas, times have changed,
and better games have shown that the way lies in true immersion.
Domicile fails to even implement simple one-sentence descriptions for
even the most obvious piece of scenery. For example, one room is
described as being dominated by an enormous plant in a holder, yet
neither can be seen by the PC.

So already the world doesn’t feel real, and along comes the most
frustrating guessing-game I’ve ever had to deal with in an IF game. Now,
let me explain something first about games played jointly by me and
Robin. We almost never look at the hints, and we look and try out almost
everything we can. This is because it’s always more fun to do those sort
of otherwise patience-testing things when you’re doing it with someone
else. So it takes us quite a while and we invest quite a lot of energy
into solving each puzzle. That said, the Spanish Moss puzzle is by far
the least logical of any game, and it’s such a shame too. There were so
many interesting possibilities for puzzles in the forest world, with
lots of objects and a promising magic system. We probably wasted half an
hour just drawing symbols on everything. The moss puzzle definitely
drained what was left of our enthusiasm for the game.

Finished? Not even close. According to the walkthrough, we probably only
did 1/5 of the game. And we played 3 hours... despite the 2 hour time
limit, trust me when I say that 3 hours for me and Robin is less than 2
hours for one person. We stopped anyways.

Aside: The beginning of the game was so hilarious! West of House! Haha!
How clever!


Risorgimento Represso
9.3
(with Roberta)

Despite the info dumps, Risorg is a heap of fun. Clever descriptions,
hilarious NPCs, and entertaining puzzles help round out what could have
been another dull apprentice-and-wizard story. Richly detailed, the
world of Risorg gives an appropriate environment for a fish-out-of-water
story, effectively giving the player the same perspective as the PC.
Although there are tons of objects in this game, the fact that nearly
all of them generate unique responses when shown to the main NPC makes
them all interesting. That and their Frobozz-like subtle wit endears
them greatly.

The main reason it gets a 9 instead of a 10 is that I doubt it could be
finished in 2 hours without the walkthrough. Again, it was a
jointly-played game, but it lasted well beyond the limit without
progressing beyond a couple puzzles. A large part of it was the info
dumps, which, while entertaining, greatly slowed the pacing of the game.
The other reason is the confusing alchemy system: it would be tolerable
in a non-comp game, but here it necessitates dull note-taking that
really didn’t seem worth it in the end.

Finished? No, but I look forward to finishing it after the comp. It
really is a great game that should have been released regularly. Maybe
it will win some well-deserved XYZZY awards later.

Aside: I think we’ve all been in those kind of classes. Good thing I’m
done with them forever!


The Fat Lardo And The Rubber Ducky
1.0

Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die was so much better and so much more
tastefully tasteless. This was just lazy and unfunny. The less said the
better.

Finished? Yeah.


Scavenger
8.3

The moment I started the game, I thought to myself: this is Wasteland in
text. A little later on, I thought: this is Fallout in text. Turns out
the game has sneaky references to both games, something I much
appreciated. Wasteland was my first ever RPG and still my favorite. Can
Scavenger live up to it? It certainly starts out strong, with great
visuals and a palpable tone and style.

Unfortunately, after the village, things went a little downhill. First,
the setting of the game should have stayed above-ground, where the
apocalyptic feel of the world was at its strongest. Once inside the
compound however, it could have been set in almost any other plot. The
security door puzzle left me unsatisfied, as the solution managed to be
both non-obvious and totally obvious. The NPCs were meager, and the
look-behind-stuff puzzles felt a little dull.

Still, Scavenger deserves high marks for solid implementation, stylistic
touch, and vividness. I hope to see more games from the author, and I
certainly wouldn’t mind if they were set in the same universe. I
particularly liked how the you got to see the PC’s exact words when you
"ask someone about something." Really fleshes him out.

Finished? No. I turned to the hints at the very end but I think I still
had another 1/3 of the way to go. I’m not going to hold this against the
game though, as I was really tired when I played this one.

Aside: I particularly enjoyed "You realize that fiddling with the pile
of bodies isn’t necessary." Good to see a PC with common sense these
days...


Sardoria
7.7

I shouldn’t have voted on this one, since I only played it for about 45
minutes. But I felt it deserved a decent score, so I thought it wouldn’t
hurt to throw in an 8 anyways. Maybe the game degenerated after the
point that I stopped, but it didn’t look that way. I don’t really have
much to say other than the first two puzzles were pretty clever despite
having to do some odd actions. I felt the most important thing was that
it demonstrated that Alan is a viable system capable of competing with
Inform and TADS.

Finished? No. Again, I probably shouldn’t have voted, but it was nearing
zero-hour for the judging time, and I made a hasty decision to include
it.

Aside: Six weeks for judging seems so short when you’re working seven
days a week. On the other hand, I’m kind of glad it’s over! Pressure’s
off to complete games, and now maybe I can go back and enjoy some I had
to rush and play the ones I didn’t have time for at all. Can’t wait for
next year.


Quintin Stone

unread,
Nov 18, 2003, 8:12:27 PM11/18/03
to
On Mon, 17 Nov 2003, Larry Kwong wrote:

> Scavenger


>
> The moment I started the game, I thought to myself: this is Wasteland in
> text. A little later on, I thought: this is Fallout in text. Turns out
> the game has sneaky references to both games, something I much
> appreciated. Wasteland was my first ever RPG and still my favorite.

Okay, the Fallout one was (obviously) deliberate, but I haven't played
Wasteland. That one, whatever it was, must have been unintentional. What
was it?

/====================================================================\
|| Quintin Stone O- > "You speak of necessary evil? One ||
|| Code Monkey < of those necessities is that if ||
|| Rebel Programmers Society > innocents must suffer, the guilty must ||
|| st...@rps.net < suffer more." -- Mackenzie Calhoun ||
|| http://www.rps.net/ > "Once Burned" by Peter David ||
\====================================================================/

Anders Hellerup Madsen

unread,
Nov 19, 2003, 5:01:11 AM11/19/03
to
Quintin Stone wrote:
> On Mon, 17 Nov 2003, Larry Kwong wrote:
>
>
>>Scavenger
>>
>>The moment I started the game, I thought to myself: this is Wasteland in
>>text. A little later on, I thought: this is Fallout in text. Turns out
>>the game has sneaky references to both games, something I much
>>appreciated. Wasteland was my first ever RPG and still my favorite.
>
>
> Okay, the Fallout one was (obviously) deliberate, but I haven't played
> Wasteland. That one, whatever it was, must have been unintentional. What
> was it?

Wasteland is an old RPG which more or less defines the world Fallout is
set in. The same way your game has tiny references to Fallout ("Vault
dweeler was here..."), Fallout has tiny references to Wasteland. If I
remember correctly, one of the random encounters in Fallout is the
Dessert Ranger Headquarters, which was a central location in Wasteland.

Regards, Anders

Larry Kwong

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 12:00:38 AM11/20/03
to
Quintin Stone wrote:

> On Mon, 17 Nov 2003, Larry Kwong wrote:
>
> > Scavenger
> >
> > The moment I started the game, I thought to myself: this is Wasteland in
> > text. A little later on, I thought: this is Fallout in text. Turns out
> > the game has sneaky references to both games, something I much
> > appreciated. Wasteland was my first ever RPG and still my favorite.
>
> Okay, the Fallout one was (obviously) deliberate, but I haven't played
> Wasteland. That one, whatever it was, must have been unintentional. What
> was it?

The main thing was the geiger counter, which was a huge part of Wasteland.
Anytime you went near a certain village, it would start clicking. It was just
such an integral part of the Wasteland experience.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages