One Room Comp 2007 - Comments - Short comments masquerading as reviews

A forum where new and old games can be reviewed - an alternative to the reviews on the Adventures page of the main ADRIFT site. Also the place to ask for any assistance if you are stuck playing a particular game.
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revgiblet
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: Canowindra, NSW

Post by revgiblet »

I played the One Room Comp entries this year (the English language ones anyway) so I thought I'd post a few comments on them.

I didn't vote and didn't score the games, so these reviews are merely comments on my playing experience. Spoilers lie in wait for the unwary.

I didn't review my own game, for obvious reasons.

The Puzzle Box

I played Rotter's game first, because he is a fellow Drifter and is therefore most deserving of my attention.

Actually, I was a little surprised to see another ADRIFT entry in the comp as no-one (other than my attention-seeking self) had declared intent on the forum. I recalled the title from Rotter's WIP signature but that was the only hype surrounding this game. The above factors made me wonder if entry was a last minute decision, and this theory was supported by the fact that the game appears to have no beta-testers listed.

What I liked:

The backstory of this game promised so much - it really made me want to play the game to completion. I wanted to find out what was going on in the house.

The central premise of a box that was unlocked by the solving of multiple puzzles was super-neato, as was the ever-changing painting that supplied the clues.

What I didn't like:

The ending was disappointing after the promise of the original premise. Because I was hooked by the story I wanted, nay - demanded, more than the final shallow reveal at the end.

Some of the puzzles seemed a little random and even counter-intuitive. The clock tower puzzle had me stumped until I looked at the walkthrough and saw that it wasn't enough to set the clock to the same time that I was seeing. I didn't pick this up at all - maybe it was referred to in the game and I missed it. And the less said about the 'examine ceiling' puzzle the better. That one totally blind-sided me.

I also didn't like the fact that I spent a lot of time just typing 'g' to repeat my previous action.

Final comment:

I played this one to completion because I thought it had a great hook. If it wasn't beta-tested then it should have been, and a more rewarding ending would do wonders for this game.

Cabin Fever

I wasn't going to play this at first, as it won't run under Gargoyle. But then I felt guilty because a) as a Drifter I feel a kinship with Quest authors, b) I was expecting others to play my game so why shouldn't I play theirs? and c) when I've previously encountered Dr. Froth on the net he's seemed like a decent enough chap (or so I thought until I checked out the ferverwear website). Anyway, I played his game.

This was the first Quest game I'd ever played. The good Doctor seemed to have disabled the Quest-specific features as a result of comments on his IF Comp game so I was quite surprised to find that Cabin Fever looked and played exactly like...an ADRIFT game - even down to the green font on black background. I don't know how Quest plays when the author uses the built-in features. I revisited some of David's previous Quest reviews to find out, but had to buy a new laptop when the vitriol melted my motherboard.

(as an aside, David reviewed Dr. Froth's IF Comp game very favourably, so if I were Dr. Froth I would be greatly encouraged by this)

Anyway...

What I liked:

Another good story. I was expecting a rip-off of Eli Roth's identically named film, but was pleasantly surprised by an original plot that kept me interested enough to play to completion.

I didn't need to refer to the walkthrough once. I enjoyed playing it. That counts for a lot.

What I didn't like:

Guess the verb mayhem. I knew exactly how to solve the puzzles (hence me not needing the walkthrough) but ended up falling back on commands like 'use water' and other such vague keyword-activating input when more sensible commands seemed to draw a blank. Yes, I know, I know. Pot calling kettle black and all that. Sorry.

I think it might be the fault of Quest but after activating key events the command 'look' tended to repeat the cut-scene rather than the room description.

Furthermore, I was able to repeat commands that should only have been able to completed once. I could, for example, repeatedly open the door and be told that a lump of ice came into the room. It only appeared as an item in the room description the first time though.

Final comment:

David tagged Gathered in Darkness as the best Quest game yet. I think that if it's anything like Cabin Fever then I can believe it. Implementation problems aside, I was very well-disposed to this offering.

Urban Conflict

So I'm trapped in a room, I have no clue what's going on and I'm with a woman who seems to alternate between wanting to save my life and wanting to kill me. Reminds me of my honeymoon.

I tell the woman about my leg wound. She bandages it for me. Three moves later she shoots me in the face. What? My character seems to have amnesia and can't tell me anything useful about the situation - except that I'm about to die. I get shot in the face again. In fact, it's not so much an 'urban conflict' as a 'face shootathon'.

Maybe there's some kind of infectious disease that caused a war and I've got it? Maybe that's why she keeps shooting me? Maybe I'm turning into zombie or something? Interesting concepts, but who knows? I don't. I didn't play the game much beyond this point.

What I liked:

Being shot in the face repeatedly by an anonymous woman.

What I didn't like:

Being shot in the face repeatedly by an anonymous woman.

The game not giving me any clues as to what I was supposed to be doing (except avoiding being shot in the face) and whether I was doing it right or wrong. I want my mummy.

Final Comment:

I didn't like this game much. I've read some other reviews by people who are more intelligent than me and they liked it. Boy, is my face red. :blush:

By the way, mrsgiblet might very well shoot me in the face in real life if I don't clarify that the honeymoon comment was a joke. We had a great time. In Rome, of all places. So maybe I should learn Italian and play the other entries in this comp?

Suveh Nux

When I started playing this game I thought it seemed a little unimaginative and clumsy.

About a minute later I realised that I was playing the game that would win this competition. This time, it seems, I was right.

What I liked:

Pretty much everything. This is a great game.

I managed to solve proper IF puzzles without looking at the walkthrough. This made me feel good.

The way that you used the magic spells was great.

What I didn't like:

That this game was so clearly better than mine.

Final comment:

This game seemed, to me, to be bordering on 'classic' territory. Everything about it just felt so right. Well worth playing.
"He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies."

Tertullian

In Progress:- Watch This Space...
Ren
Posts: 828
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:44 pm
Points: 10
Location: UK

Post by Ren »

I failed to play enough games in time to be allowed to vote, but I did play Urban Conflict which I alternately enjoyed and was deeply frustrated by.

After a lot of time struggling to work out what it whether this was a set amidst a dystopian futuristic gender war, or on another planet, or something else clever or allegorical that my captor would not refer to directly I eventually worked out it was Iraq by ask[ing] woman about iraq.

Some of it I liked, but it all fell down for me because, if you're going to have a conversation-based game with a clear objective, I think you need to work out the logic thoroughly enough for the player to follow, and you need to keep you NPC consistent (to paraphrase 'I hate chocolate' to 'ooh, chocolate').

I found it almost impossible to tell whether the conversation topics I picked were having a positive effect (outside of not being shot in the face), and I'm pretty sure that some that should (in my opinion, logically) have had a positive effect, didn't.

I was able to follow some of the conversation threads (on literature, London etc), but they didn't take me to where I needed to go on their own. I wanted to like the game enough to keep going for a long time but, after eventually resorting to the walkthrough, I'm pretty sure I would never have made it on my own.

I enjoyed what I played but it felt a bit like a missed opportunity.

I also played Marika but I beta-tested that. I will play Suveh Nux.
revgiblet
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: Canowindra, NSW

Post by revgiblet »

On reflection it's become apparent that I just didn't get Urban Conflict, and I'm guessing from the final results that I wasn't the only one.

It's probably a better game than I gave it credit for, but I can't express how annoying I found it to be shot by someone who had just healed my life-threatening wound and have no idea what was happening.

I must confess that as much as I have a soft spot for Cabin Fever I wasn't expecting it to place higher than The Puzzle Box.
"He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies."

Tertullian

In Progress:- Watch This Space...
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