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Jim Pond and the Agents of FART - Review

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.

Postby Woodfish » Wed Sep 03, 2003 9:50 am

I've never been that much of a fan of davidw's games. When I play interactive fiction, I like it to seem real as I play. I like games where you actually feel as if you are there, or where you can picture everything going on. I don't often get this feeling with davidw's games. This isn't because they're not well-written, because they are - it's just that their style is too jokey and whimsical for me.

I do like comedy games to some degree, just not a full-blown gag-per-line jokefest like Jim Pond. My view of a perfect comedy game is one that has well written, descriptive room and object descriptions, well-defined characters, an engaging plot, with some funny observations, situations, and speech in it - not a game in which nearly every sentence is littered with one-liners.

Of course, I realise this game is meant to be lighthearted, and I appreciate that, but this seemed too whimsical and nonsensical for my liking. There were quite a few funny lines, and it was a well-detailed game, but it didn't seem real enough. For instance, this game often makes reference to the fact that it is a game (eg. "There's also a door here but as might be expected in a game like this it's annoyingly locked"), which some people might like, but I don't.

In fact, this could be the key to how davidw gets so many games released (this is just an observation, by the way, not critisism). When I make a game, I have to have everything real, and backed up with reasoning. For example, we don't get any real description of what the carpark looks like at the beginning, and it only contains two locations. The way out is blocked by a locked door. How did the player get in the carpark to start with, if he doesn't have the key to get in? Things like that get me when I'm playing a game, and I take steps to avoid that sort of thing. Even if I'm writing a comedy game, I still make it logical. I realise stuff like that doesn't bother most people, and it can't bother davidw particularly. So perhaps the key to releasing games is to not think about it too much, in regard to logic and reasoning. Again, this is not meant to put down or critisise davidw, it's just speculation.

Most of the nouns in room descriptions were backed up by objects, and I didn't encounter many bugs, apart from one in Mr Orinoko's office with his dead body. The game design was quite good, apart from a few issues with game logic, and I thought the structure was good.

I can see there is a lot of time put into this game, and it is very detailed and some parts are quite entertaining - it's just that it's not really my sort of game. I think it deserves a high score, though, because it is really a good game, which did make me laugh out loud on a few occasions.

7 / 10

Edited By Woodfish on 03 Sep. 2003 at 10:51
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