The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Far From Home

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 davidw » Sat Nov 02, 2002 10:37 pm

Far From Home by The Mad Monk

Ever start playing a game which dumps you straight into the first location without any explanation of why you're there or what you're supposed to be doing? Far From Home, alas, is one game which falls into this category. There's no background and you know nothing about your character although from the title it's possible to deduce that you're far from wherever it is you live and striving to get back; alas even after finishing the game, nothing is explained. Still, complaints about the lack of introduction and background aside, there is a fairly decent game here nonetheless.

In a way, the lack of background is almost forgivable because it adds to the sense of dislocation at the start of the game. The initial set of locations are atmospheric and well written; events are used here (as in a cool breeze blowing past and caressing the grass and plants) to add depth to the locations and this is an idea which works well indeed, often giving the impression that the locations are changing even as you move through them.

Far From Home is a very linear type of game with little variation away from the central storyline possible. While there's nothing wrong with linear games as such, I've always found it restrictive not being able to move about and explore things.

Logic - or the lack of - appears to be the game's main failing. The sense of not having a clue that you begin the game with continues right through to the end; quite frequently tasks need to be completed for no apparent reason and the results turn out to make even less sense. Admittedly quite a number of text adventures have illogical actions in them - and there are few that can boast a 100% logical rating - but Far From Home seems to suffer from lack of logic worst than most. Pouring water into a hole in the mountain transports the player to another location; later in the game you can wander across some clouds and fall into the sea below; opening a box transports you again elsewhere. Not once is an explanation for all this strangeness given and I suspect more than a few people would be put off by the way this is handled.

Lack of background and logic aside, this isn't a terrible game by any stretch of the imagination. In places it's quite atmospheric and the writing is always above average. Re-written (and with a serious amount of explanation added!) this could be a very good game indeed.

Logic: 2 out of 10
Logic doesn't really play a big part in this game what with the player being moved from one location to another with no explanation of why or even how.

Problems: 10 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
The original version of the game had several but fortunately they've all been fixed here.

Story: 3 out of 10
One of the failings of Far From Home is the lack of storyline. Events happen for no apparent reason and there isn't even an explanation as to why you happen to be standing in a field with a mountain looming in the background at the start of the game.

Characters: 4 out of 10
Only one character - a pirate - and he has the frustrating habit of moving around whenever you try to interact with him. Unfortunately, he's not very well drawn and conversation with him is pretty much a no go.

Writing: 6 out of 10
The standard of writing is best at the beginning of the game (the initial locations have quite a bit of depth and atmosphere) but less impressive towards the end.

Game: 6 out of 10
A nice little game which, aside from the end puzzle, isn't too difficult to figure out and should keep you amused for an hour or two.

Overall: 31 out of 60
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Postby The Mad Monk » Sun Nov 03, 2002 2:37 pm

Just in the interest of FAIRNESS, there's no intro because the &$*^&*$^& unregistered v4 deleted it when I converted from 3.9 and I couldn't put it back in afterwards. :8

Oh, and if you'd examined the hole, there was a little hintie there to what you had to do. :p

Edited By The Mad Monk on 06 Nov. 2002 at 06:49
In related news, Kenneth Ham reveals that he knows precisely squat about fossils. Film at eleven.

That's Poodle's lovely avatar up there...
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