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Second look, Mon 22nd Aug 2011
By jimtun - See all my reviews
I first played Vague when it was entered into the Spring Thing 2009 and to be honest I didn’t get it. I gave up after a few turns and left it at that. After talk on the ADRIFT forums recently about reviewing and playing games I’ve had another look and thought I would review it.
The player starts brainwashed and naked. Cliché. All the NPC’s are stationary and badly-implemented. Typical bad IF. The game starts by telling you it is likely to be bad. Usually a sign of bad IF. When I first played that’s what I thought.
Now I see that Vague is all about breaking the fourth wall. Almost looking at the game from the point of view of the player character rather than the player. It just doesn’t do it very well.
I think using locations and characters from his own stock of games was the big mistake (and I’ve told Mr Otter that). Most reviewers got hung-up on this and said so. The game is really just a treasure hunt. Like the old school way of having the player carry out random acts and finding and linking together random objects. He would have been better using clichéd locations, you know typical IF locations like bedrooms, garages etc.
It also wasn’t tested enough as it has a number of minor bugs, lacks a little polish and has the ADRIFT weirdness and all that.
But second time around I now think it is - okay. Not the best but I enjoyed playing it.