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Carmen Devine: Supernatural Troubleshooter

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Postby David Whyld » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:37 pm

Carmen Devine: Supernatural Troubleshooter by Rob Myall (Inform)


Hmmm… had to laugh at the title. In terms of kewl, it’s right up there with naming a TV show “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”. But, well, I kind of liked Buffy so I’ll try not to let the name of the game put me off.

I wasn’t too keen on the start of the game, which basically involved me sitting in a jeep and being driven along. I figured that after X amount of moves, the jeep ride would end and I’d get out. But after typing WAIT over and over again and finding the jeep ride still going on (we were going a long way apparently), it seems I was wrong. So I read the one item I had – a file folder – and still the ride went on. It seems repetition is the answer here. I keep on reading the file folder, even though there’s no indication that I should need to read it more than once, and the jeep arrives at its destination.

Another thing I didn’t like: the directions for most rooms not being listed in the body of the text but instead in an unattractive white band at the top of the screen. A nice touch is the way it lists directions you haven’t been yet in a different colour from ones you have been to, but I still prefer having the directions in the body of the text. Having to glance at the top of the screen to see where you can go when your attention is focused on the bottom of the screen is a pain.

I didn’t get very far with the game before going to the walkthrough. Well, I say walkthrough but it’s actually just a series of not very clear hints. Apparently I'm a werewolf and at some point I need to change into my wolf form, yet nowhere does it say I'm a werewolf and have this ability. Trying to figure out what to do when you haven’t been told the entire story isn't nice.

I suppose I should finish this largely negative review with one thing about the game I liked. It was well written. I liked the flow of the text, even though I didn’t really get most of the game was about. Actually, on the whole I didn’t mind the game. Cheating and using the walkthrough whenever I got stuck allowed me to get further than I otherwise would have and as a result I didn’t find myself hating “Carmen Devine: Supernatural Troubleshooter” as much as the rest of the review might indicate.

But I didn’t like it *that* much, either.

4 out of 10
David Whyld
 
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