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Cursor  Member Reviews - Spring Ting 2010 entries

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
 
Lumins comments, Sat 3rd Jul 2010
By Po. Prune - See all my reviews

I am posting Lumin’s reviews...
(Hope it’s ok, Lumin... if not let me know and I’ll erase them.)
Po. Prune

Egg Hunt

At first glance, this game written by a newbie plays exactly like a game written by a newbie, with all the ’my first gaem’ mistakes I’ve seen time and time again when these things pop up on the adventures page. From a gameplay perspective the biggest problem of course were that the descriptions and puzzles were all but non-existent, something that will usually immediately make me quit with the thought that I’d be putting more effort into playing the game than the author did into writing it. But since this was a comp entry I pressed on, and discovered even worse problems with the plot, which apparently started out as an attempt at a classic Christmas folkstory I’ve heard a few versions of, but then devolved pretty much immediately into some of the clumsiest sledgehammer preaching I’ve ever seen, so much that I can’t help but wonder whether the author was for real or not. (I became even more confused a few minutes ago when I looked them up and saw that they’d written ’Igor’ as well, a flawed but still pretty decent game.)

So while I’m not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, the only positive thing I can really find to say about this one is in noting the nice sound effects that were added for different rooms, though that kind of attention to a welcome but unnecessary detail while the much more important ’text’ part of the text game was all but ignored is somewhat baffling in itself. In the end, my advice to the author is the same as it always is in these situations: it’s best to play a few games before you attempt to make one of your own, just like a wannabe novelist needs to do plenty of reading before they’re comfortable with writing. Go to Baf’s Guide, pick out some good IF and some bad IF, get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. (And if you’re serious about the Christian fiction thing, try Eric Eve’s All Hope Abandon and Paul Panks’ Jesus of Nazareth...see if you can tell the difference. :-p )

Wes Garden’s Halting Nightmare

This game. This freaking game. While I’m glad Jubell’s going to get his free copy of Adrift and all, he really should have saved it for the Summer Comp...unregistered limitations and all, I think it still would’ve given some of us more experienced Drifters a run for our money. I loved everything about this. Well, okay, I admit thought the whole ’Soul Scythe’ things sounded like something out of a cheesy action game, but everything else--the intro and the writing, the genuinely creepy rooms and mindscrew plot, and of course the amazing art and music, just blew me away. I even loved that I still had no idea what was going on at the end. Usually that’s something that would annoy me a little, but here it’s a strength...I was SO glad it didn’t all wrap up neatly with a pat ’but it was alllll in his head’ or whatever ending.  

The limitations of the unregistered version did show up in a few cases, (mostly when I was getting drawn into a trippy room description but not being able to examine something that seemed prominent) so I’m really hoping that in addition to a sequel, the author might be able to go back and flesh this one out a little once they’ve got their shiny new full version. And though this one’s more a matter of personal taste, it also seemed like there was a lot of plot railroading, long cutscenes and such popping up every couple of minutes. Though once again, even though it’s something I don’t always care for, in this case I might call it a good thing because it allowed so much plot and content to be crammed in despite the limits and made the game seem a lot larger than it actually is. (I noticed you made good use of conversation topics as well, which is also a good trick in this kind of situation.)

The one and only thing I would have to say I definitely didn’t care for were the combat aspects - the fact is I simply hate hate hate Adrift’s default combat system and have never seen it used in a good way. I found it yanked me out of the story here too, and finally after being killed half a dozen times in the first fight (my own hits never seeming to do any damage) I got frustrated and changed the opponent’s stats in the generator, which let me move past that part but may or may not have caused a bigger problem later.

For the second fight, I got the message saying I was being attacked, but nothing happened (I was alone in the room) and since I couldn’t trigger the end of the fight I wasn’t able to progress any further after that. I can’t say with any kind of confidence that it was a bug, because there’s a good chance I broke something with my meddling earlier, but even if it was, the game up until that point was amazing enough to more than make up for it. Happily I was able to sort of experience the last few scenes by following along with the walkthrough and the generator anyway, and the ending did not disappoint. Really, really, REALLY looking forward to whatever this author decides to write next.


0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
  The Sexy and the Preachy, Thu 4th Aug 2011
By Duncan_B - See all my reviews

Wes Garden's Halting Nightmare is an interesting game with, if I recall, some surrealistic neo-pagan themes on identity, and its own "eye candy" graphical style (although it is clearly not AIF). Might not be everyone's cup o' Joe. Some of the interaction in the game is a little difficult or obscure at points, but for a first game I thought it was a stellar effort.

Perhaps I'm a little biased, as I did provide some assistance in beta-testing.

And then there's the Easter Egg Hunt, which fell completely flat for me. The game is apparently attempting to preach Christianity or something (a turn-off for me), and does it in a sledgehammer kind of way that is neither persuasive, nor does it ever fully eclipse into parody. I kept expecting maybe there would be some comedic twist at the end, but as I played on I realised I couldn't bear to read however much more was left in order to find out.

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