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Mon 9th Jan 2006
By David Whyld - See all my reviews
I wasn’t expecting much from this game. The author had written two games prior to Can I Do It? One was removed from the main ADRIFT site before I got the chance to play it, although from what I hear of it I didn’t miss much. The other? Oh dear… Let’s just say it was bad and leave it at that. So I didn’t have high hopes for this one.
It started off better than I expected. Nice introduction (although it would have had my old English teacher (the one with the grammar obsession) fairly spitting blood) but fails a little as it doesn’t actually say what the aim of the game is. I figured it out from the title of the taf ("Heist") but it would have been a good idea to make it clearer in the intro.
Can I Do It? is a better game than the previous one I’d played by the author, but it’s still got more holes than some very holey cheese. There are lots of newbie annoyances - GET and TAKE mean different things, so if, like me, you type the former as opposed to the latter, you won’t be able to finish the game. A crucial item required to trigger the end game event only works if the TAKE command is used. I used GET, so even though I was carrying the item in question when I left the store the game wouldn’t finish for me.
Some of the other problems with the game were minor, but annoying all the same. In one location, there is a food rack and a magazine rack, yet examining either of them just gives you the description for the food rack.
There were a few lapses in logic that were pretty frustrating. I’m able to find a bag and wear it then wander around the store with it on, yet the shopkeeper doesn’t think there’s anything unusual about this. I’m also able to pick up items (steal them really) and leave the store without the shopkeeper doing a thing about it, yet I’m still expected to buy the items to move the game forward. I’m also kind of dubious that the shopkeeper would tell a customer where he keeps his gun just because you give him some candy. For that matter, why is the gun even where you find it and not somewhere closer to the shopkeeper? A gun out of reach isn’t much use in the event of a robbery.
Some bits of the game were in past tense, others present tense which made for a jarring read at times. It could also have done from running through a spell check, and the frequent grammar errors were trying.
But all in all, it’s a step in the right direction. By no means a perfect game, Can I Do It? is a marked improvement on the author’s previous works and shows that, if he can start writing some proper sized games (this one was 5 KB), test them properly beforehand, and fix his spelling and grammar, he might actually have potential.
3 out of 10