(OddComp) Asteroid Aftermath - 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 »

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'm not too into SciFi, so I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it seemed, and was, well-written.

2. How did the author do within the restrictions?
Very well. Neatly and cleanly done. It even took me a minute, after playing, to think of how the majority of the objects were used, because they fit right in!

3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?
Well, I personally don't like combination-lock-type puzzles because I'm very bad at solving them, but there were hints to use after I got tired of trying things and couldn't figure it out from the effects I saw (I still don't know if it was arbitrary or logical)... So, heh, it was okay. The before and after stories were good, though they weren't very involved with the actual gameplay since I was left alone to figure things out. Regardless, the storyline left me thinking "interesting".

4. What did you like best about the game?
I really liked the way the responses to the switchboard command displayed like a loading screen. Nice touch. (I didn't like having to wait the few seconds each time for it to finish before I could begin typing the next command, but I guess that's only natural when dealing with loading screens, huh?)

5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?
Um... waiting for the "loading screens" to finish each and every time got old very quickly. Perhaps they could be sped up and thus be less annoying by using smaller tenths of a second.

6. What stood out most to you from/about this game?
The loading screens. How could they not? I also appreciated the way the events were used to affect the switchboard.

7. How did this game compare with the others in the competition and/or what set it apart?
The smoothest, I think. Ran without a hitch.

Any other comments?
Ha ha. The characters were used as satellites! That's great.
I wished I could have used numerals instead of first, second, etc. That would be simple to set up using synonyms.
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 »

ASTEROID AFTERMATH
----------------------------

What? What's going on? Huh?

AWARD: The "Most Technically Impressive" Award

Asteroid Aftermath is another brain-teaser, and like Business as Usual there's something highly impressive about such a concept being squeezed into the limitations of the game. Asteroid Aftermath was the game that impressed me most in terms of its technical credentials. I wouldn't really know even where to start to code an entry like this.

I enjoyed the clever details in this game, such as making the 'rooms' function as cameras and the depth of thought that had gone into the switchboard. The plot reveal at the end was a nice reward for the work that you had to put in to solving the game, though it was nothing more than a hint at something interesting.

However, despite all these polished touches I didn't really enjoy the 'trial and error' nature of the game play - particularly when you get little guidance as to what effect your actions are having. Flicking switches and then moving through rooms examining the satellites to see which ones are in the right place is hard work if puzzle adventures aren't really your cup of tea. Essentially that is what this game is all about, and throw in a timer that resets your switches and some commands that can only be tried if other commands have been done in the right order and you'll get an idea of what this game consists of. It's a very tricky puzzle. If you get a kick out of such things then I suspect that this'll be your favourite of the competition.

I feel a little bad that I didn't enjoy this entry more. As I have already said, it was obvious that a lot of work had gone into the game and it was a very impressive entry. However, although this is clearly a more accomplished game than Gorxungula's Curse, I enjoyed the silly rabbit adventure more. It's just unfortunate that I'm such a one-dimensional character and don't really appreciate how clever a game like this really is.
"He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies."

Tertullian

In Progress:- Watch This Space...
helgathehorrible
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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?

It seemed confusing. But I got the hang of it quicker than I thought I would.


2. How did the author do within the restrictions?

Very well. Like Business As Usual, they used a unique and creative concept which accomodated the restrictions really well.


3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?
There was really only one puzzle, but it was clever. I did have to cheat a bit.


4. What did you like best about the game?
The clever concept.


5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?
It was confusing and intimidating at first; there was no real explanation of what you're supposed to do, the intro explained why you were supposed to do it, but didn't really help with figuring out how or what. I suppose part of the puzzle was working this out, but I thought it could put a person off.


6. What stood out most to you from/about this game?
The clever and unique concept.
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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: "oh God a timed puzzle"
While playing: "oh God a really hard timed puzzle help!"

2. How did the author do within the restrictions?

This was where the game really shined, actually. On my first playthrough I was a bit too daunted to notice, but on the second (and some time spent in the generator) I was able to appreciate the effort and creativity that went into the technical aspects. In particular I thought the use of NPCs was an especially brilliant way of getting around the object restrictions.

3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?

Storyline wasn't the focus of the game (though as others have said, the ending was...interesting. We're too what?), and as you may have guessed I found the puzzle a bit on the difficult side. To tell the truth it utterly confused me, though that isn't really the author's fault, I just suck at things like this.

4. What did you like best about the game?

The puzzle.

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

The puzzle. ;)

I think I would have preferred it without a timer, anyway, and with a little more immediate feedback on whether opening and closing a valve had done any good - as it is you have to go into other rooms and look at each satellite. I understand this might not be possible within the restrictions however.
Dan Blazquez
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:46 am
Points: 10
Location: US

Post by Dan Blazquez »

Asteroid Aftermath by Duncan_B

First impression: Um, what? This is one of those games that makes me feel very very small and insignificant. A technical masterpiece? A puzzling migraine? I'd say both. The game starts of well, with a basic yet enlightening introduction. The objective is clearly laid out for the player, and the game does a great job of describing what you have to do and how you must go about doing it. Not only that, the game comes with a robust hint system that makes it easy for drooling retards like myself to conquer. So the author took all the proper steps to guide players through this game, an effort which I fully appreciate.

Unfortunately, this game is nothing except one large and complicated puzzle involving cameras and satellites and switchboards. While at first I promised myself NOT to open the generator or use the hints, I quickly realized how stupid I was and forced myself to use both hints and generator spying to finish.

The problems boil down to personal preference... really it's not the games fault. In fact, the game is technical wizardry at its finest - incredibly clever use of restrictions combine to make a gestalt. The problem is me. I didn't enjoy this game nearly as much as Gorxungula's Curse (the author's other entry) because it felt lifeless, just an excuse to wrap a bright idea around the generator. And I hate puzzles (at least complex mind-bogglers such as this). Interesting ending, although I expected my computer to start violently ejecting gold coins for solving such an abstract puzzle. That would have been a much better ending, and judging by Duncan's technical prowess with ADRIFT, I'm sure he could've programmed it had he been given just two more tasks to work with. Haha!

Objectively, the game is perfect I suppose. Subjectively, I'd rather get a root canal. Duncan gets a cookie for making the other competition games look like sculptures chiseled by cavemen with rubber mallets.... in comparison Asteroid Aftermath is liquid smooth and fine-tuned to perfection. I only wish my mental faculties could cope with something like this - I would've greatly enjoyed this had my masochist vein been pumping.

Between this, Gorxungula's Curse, and Virtual Human, I'm going to say that Duncan is an innovative drifter with enough good ideas to put most of us to shame should he makes a full sized adventure. Looking forward to your next weirdly brilliant game, Duncan!
Released adventures :
- A Witch Tale (OddComp)

Currently working on :
- The Lighthouse (a horror story collaboration with Quantumsheep)
- A Witch Tale (expanded version)
- Clepsydra
revgiblet
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:11 pm
Location: Canowindra, NSW

Post by revgiblet »

Duncan did 'Virtual Human'? I found 'VH' to be a very enjoyable distraction. Clearly the lad has some skillz.
"He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies."

Tertullian

In Progress:- Watch This Space...
Duncan_B

Post by Duncan_B »

Indeed, quite puzzle-driven, and a headache for anyone who's not into working out that sort of drivel. It's a shame none of the story really got worked into gameplay. For this one, most of the chips were riding on the prologue/epilogue.

I had more fun working around restrictions in this one than in Gorxungula (although I DID have my fun with that one), but Asteroid Aftermath was a heck of a lot harder. Restrictions were responsible for every single piece of broken-ness about the switchboard (written intentionally & otherwise). I remember starting the adventure with an uncharacteristic cockiness and the cursed feeling of "Oh, man... what about closing the valves?" For quite a despairing while, I didn't think this piece would actually end up making it into the comp (for that and various other reasons along the way).

I hope everyone was able to figure out the meaning of the whole "C-state detector" thing without too much trouble. In retrospect, it seems sort of vague.

As for the technical nature of it, it just took a little work with the ALR... "You open the first valve", etc. were replaced with a little techno-blathering, some breaks and waits thrown in. Nothing that wasn't done in other adventures, really, but I thank everyone for their generosity towards me.
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