(SummerComp 2010) Light Up

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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Post by Lumin »

As soon as I saw who the author of this one was I suspected I was in for a dark, twisted game with a lot of atmosphere, and I was able to make some assumptions about the ending as well. (which I won't go into here for obvious reasons) The warnings in the 'about' text as soon as I loaded it up informed me that yes, I had been right on all counts, and off I went.

Light Up gets off to a strong start, even with the somewhat familiar horror game opening of a character preparing to explore a scary house. It may seem a little cliche, but that just goes to show that EVERYTHING comes down to presentation. Exploring the house was genuinely unsettling for me; I was at first reluctant to go inside, and even then reluctant to go into new rooms, nervous about what I might find. (The way the main character is written made it very easy to slip inside his head and start identifying with him, though that's part of a problem I had later on.)

As the first bits of the mystery started to come together, I found myself getting even further drawn in. It's at that point that, without getting into spoilers, the character makes a discovery and the genre basically changes. Not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing, and there's plenty to experience in the later chapters too (the dark and twisted-ness is still there, most notably in one scene/puzzle that may well be the most disturbing thing I've ever come across in an IF--or any--game) but for me at least the jump was a little too jarring, and the game's first section will always be the high point.

As far as gameplay goes, the technical aspects of the writing were sound, and there were only a couple of puzzles (in the second chapter) that I thought should have been clued better. This game also features the one and only example of combat in an IF game that didn't immediately irritate/bore the heck out of me, even if it did get kind of tedious before it was over.

The ending, I hate to admit, I didn't really care for. Partially because, as I said, I saw it (or something like it) coming from the beginning, and partially because I couldn't stop myself from identifying with the main character anyway, especially compared to the other people around him. I also felt that there were a couple of fairly major plot points that got introduced and then dropped; in the end, as interesting as this was in other ways, I couldn't help but wish I'd also been able to play the 'terrifying mystery in a creepy house' game this had seemed to start out as.
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Hensman Int'l
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Post by Hensman Int'l »

Started as a good mystery, then transitioned thorough strange, weird, to disgusting (IMO). The combat near the end was a lot of typing - shortcuts would have been preferable. I would have enjoyed it much more if the game focused on the mystery of where Shane went and what was the blood about, not some sci-fi/metaphysical journey. In a way, each of the chapters deserved a separate, more detailed game. Some of them I would have liked to play; others not in the genre I prefer.

As a side note, I am not a fan of passwording a game. Leaving it open to review the source coding is not for cheating, but to help other writers in implementing difficult tasks/events and to help the author in debugging any problems.
Officially and Fully Released:
The Fly Human (v.4) - 2010
Brain Dead Weekend (v.4) - 2011
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