(OddComp) Gorxungula's Curse - by Duncan Bowsman

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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alsnpk
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:58 pm
Points: 10
Location: UK (was US)

Post by alsnpk »

Of course your review doesn't have to include all, or any, of questions, if you don't want it to. This is meant to serve as a basic template.

(Keep these restrictions in mind: The author had to pair up each one of these numbers: 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11, with one of these: rooms, objects, tasks, events, and characters, and have and use exactly the particular number of each that they chose for their game; no more, no less.)



1. What was your initial impression of the game, when you first opened it up, and how did the game compare?


2. How did the author do within the restrictions?


3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?


4. What did you like best about the game?


5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?


6. What stood out most to you from/about this game?


7. How did this game compare with the others in the competition and/or what set it apart?


Any other comments?
Released:
For competitions: Business As Usual; Oh, Human; Existence (intro); Motion
Shared names demo: "Guys, Guys"

Works in various stages of progress:
Y'know, things and stuff...
alsnpk
Posts: 523
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:58 pm
Points: 10
Location: UK (was US)

Post by alsnpk »

Gorxungula's Curse, by Duncan Bowsman (5 rooms, 7 objects, 11 tasks, 9 events, 3 characters)

1. What was your initial impression of the game, when you first opened it up, and how did the game compare?
Nice intro screen. I hoped I wouldn't have to type "gorxungula" very much. Uh... the game seemed weird. And it was.

2. How did the author do within the restrictions?
Fine. The room descriptions and directions/movement were put together kind of confusingly, but overall, the use of things was fine.

3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?
Other than one, simple. That one? Pretty much invisible to me. The story was strange and disjointed, but I suppose it was meant to be, whether I accept that as an excuse or not.

4. What did you like best about the game?
After looking at the hints, I now appreciate the cleverness of the thing I would never have thought to do.

5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?
I never would have figured the last thing out. Perhaps make it a teensy bit more obvious somehow?

6. What stood out most to you from/about this game?
The game's strangeness, and the unique puzzle I mentioned.

7. How did this game compare with the others in the competition and/or what set it apart?
Oddest descriptions. I guess that kinda fits the title of the competition.

Any other comments?
The very-end-ending didn't quite fit. It almost did; I wanted it to... yet it didn't. Not quite.
I wanted the rabbits to have more involvement in the game than they had.
Released:
For competitions: Business As Usual; Oh, Human; Existence (intro); Motion
Shared names demo: "Guys, Guys"

Works in various stages of progress:
Y'know, things and stuff...
revgiblet
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: Canowindra, NSW

Post by revgiblet »

GORXUNGULA'S CURSE
-----------------------------

You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps!!!!!

AWARD: The "Well, I thought it was funny" Award

Another game with a nice title page. I'm pleased that so many of the authors bothered to try and make their games look nice. Have a balloon.

The award says it all really. I can imagine a few raised eyebrows and "meh"s when this game gets played. It's pretty simple and lacks the bold vision of some of the other entries. The restrictions of the competition are probably mostly obvious in this game. In fact, it could even be construed as a joke entry, with such IF conventions as telling you that you shouldn't go west and instantly killing you (with no explanation as to why or how) if you do, but blow all that for a game of soldiers. My notes say "Anarchic and wonderful" so I'm going with that.

In fact, there's a puzzle in this game that essentially rewards you for being rubbish. It might seem unfair and obscure, and I don't plan on making it any clearer for the reader, but needless to say that I completed this game without needing to cheat despite not knowing how the gold coin ended up in my inventory. Because I tend to be poor at IF, I applaud this stroke of condescension.

And yes, I did find it funny. Uncertain Toast is a brilliant room, and I defy anyone to disagree. OK, it's hard to describe this as a 'great' piece of IF - and the ending which was clearly supposed to try and add a little sanity to the proceeding didn't really do it for me - but it's the humour that counts for this piece. I totally recommend playing it while listening to Soul Coughing's Bus to Beelzebub. I preferred this to author's other entry, but then I think that Return of the Jedi is under-rated, and I suppose that I'm easily pleased.
"He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies."

Tertullian

In Progress:- Watch This Space...
helgathehorrible
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:15 am
Points: 10
Location: Australia

Post by helgathehorrible »

1. What was your initial impression of the game, when you first opened it up, and how did the game compare?
I thought it'd be interesting but it was just weird.

2. How did the author do within the restrictions?
They did okay. I liked the descending into deeper levels of absurdities are different rooms.

3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?
Confusing. I enjoyed trying to work out what on earth was going on but I'm not sure if I did. It was just a bit of silliness and it ended with a sense of me feeling a little out of it, not being sure if I just "didn't get it" or if it was genuinely as nonsensically random as it seemed to me.


4. What did you like best about the game?
I did like the silliness of it, it was fun. I thought it was interesting how I got a certain item but I didn't even know how I got it until I looked at the hints. I can imagine someone who didn't do what I did on chance banging their head against the wall.


5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?
Like I said, it didn't make any concise sense to me. I knew it wasn't supposed to at first, but I thought things would be clearer by the end of it; it wasn't. It was sort of a cop-out, too, a sort of "then she woke up and none of it was real" ending. I was a little unsatisfied.
Dan Blazquez
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:46 am
Points: 10
Location: US

Post by Dan Blazquez »

Gorxungula's Curse by Duncan_B

A very strange journey into the depths of the author's imagination. The world of Rabbits is populated with weird characters and even weirder locations, all described with a highly unique writing style. The plot is obtuse, with a clear understanding of what you have to do, but not why - a decision that I think helped fuel the craziness of this game. I think Gorxungula's Curse is one of the more clever games in the competition, although the game is hard to swallow at first. The style of the prose is inspired and really grew on me as I began to make sense of this highly surreal game.

Overall, some really awesome ideas were thrown in. The Uncertain Toast room was the best part, hands down. That had me laughing out loud at just how bizarre this piece of interactive fiction is. One of the puzzles is a wicked curveball of a thing that had me grinnin' when I figured it out (without hints, ha!), but other than that the proceedings are very simple and linear.

It is rough around the edges, though. Coding is not a strong suit of this adventure, but thankfully the game moves along nicely, unhindered by tough puzzles or atypical commands. It felt disjointed, perhaps rushed? Duncan's other entry shows that he can clearly craft a polished adventure, leaving me with the idea that Gorxungula's Curse was created later and without as much TLC.

What really makes Gorxungula's Curse stand out among the competition games (in my opinion) is the presentation - the writing style, humorous characters and bizarre locations all add up to make a game that is highly original and a breath of fresh air... no canned sci-fi or fantasy setting here! Something about this nibble of fiction really tugs at my inner love of writing and reading. Great use of alliteration and other creative writing tricks shows off the author's handle on the english language.

A bite-sized wonderfully imaginative work that leaves a bit to be desired in terms of length and technical fluency, though how much of this is due to the restrictions is unknown. For a player like myself Gorxungula is great - exciting, completely unique, and memorable.
Released adventures :
- A Witch Tale (OddComp)

Currently working on :
- The Lighthouse (a horror story collaboration with Quantumsheep)
- A Witch Tale (expanded version)
- Clepsydra
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Lumin
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 6:48 pm
Points: 49

Post by Lumin »

1. What was your initial impression of the game, when you first opened it up, and how did the game compare?

Initial impression: "This game looks weird."
After playing: "That game was weird."

2. How did the author do within the restrictions?

The unusual setting did a good job of disguising the fact that there even were any. Most of the "rooms" were only rooms in the technical sense - there weren't a bunch of distracting unimplemented objects, and at the same time their absense didn't make the game feel sparse at all.

3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?

The writing was well done and the setting and characters were wonderfully unique, so much so that I have to say I prefer this over the author's other entry, even though technically speaking Asteroid Aftermath is probably the better game.

The coin puzzle had me utterly confused for a little while, but when I finally figured it out (without the help of the generator, for once) it was one of the greatest "Aha!" moments of the comp. :)

4. What did you like best about the game?

The surreality of it all in general, and Uncertain Toast in particular. :)

5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?

I was kind of disappointed with the ending - I wanted this bizarre universe of magical rabbit spirits and such to be the real deal, not the cliched "it was all a dream/figment of a crazy guy's imagination" that we actually got. A guy capable of writing Uncertain Toast into existence should be able to come up with a more original ending, that's all I'm saying.




Edited By Lumin on 1223436624
Duncan_B

Post by Duncan_B »

The ending was by far the most disappointing aspect of this adventure. I feel like it was one of those awful Mickey Mouse adventure endings where everything you go through ends up completely trivialised and useless. "Just a dream" indeed. Not an appropriate reward for the efforts of the player, and degrading to the value of all prior story.

...uh... I suppose we all make one at some point, though... *FLEE! FLEE TO SAFETY!*

At any rate, an interesting experiment. It's too bad I put it down and got caught up trying to make more for the comp (my third game didn't get finished in time) instead of sitting down and writing a more satisfying ending. I'm glad people enjoyed Uncertain Toast. I sure had fun writing it.
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