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Wrecked

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Postby davidw » Sun Mar 02, 2003 12:35 pm

Wrecked by Campbell Wild

ADRIFT creator Campbell Wild's Wrecked starts off in pretty standard adventure game territory: a hunt for sunken treasure from a wrecked ship. Indeed, many of the early locations in the game - set in the town of Ambersville where you've come to find the wrecked ship - fall into the category of standard adventure game territory, but once Wrecked gets underway the adventure becomes quite a bit more interesting. You can travel to the Land of Narnia and meet Mr Tumnus and Aslan (which no doubt won't mean a thing if you haven't read The Lion, The Witch & Wardrobe).
There's a lot of things to like about Wrecked, one of which is the ease of use of the game. There are a fair few locations that can be explored from the very start of the game without the need to solve any complicated puzzles and Ambersville itself is an interesting place to wander around. Getting beyond Ambersville, however, is trickier. There's a train station to be found but, as the trains tend to come and go at random times, there might well be nothing there when you arrive.

A hints system comes in handy although for the earlier part of the game you can probably make fairly good progress without having to resort to using it. Whereas the tasks in the later parts of the game are harder to figure out, most of the early ones (what you need to give Biff and Boff, rescuing the cat, etc.) are more straightforward, though getting the pig to move presented me with a few problems [spoiler] until I'd been to Narnia.

Wrecked reminded me a lot of the text adventures from the 80's in that there was an emphasis here on puzzles as opposed to lengthy descriptive writing. While there's nothing wrong with this, I was kind of disappointed that some of the location descriptions were so sparse and felt that more detailed descriptions would have added considerably to the game's depth.

Above average for ADRIFT adventures, Wrecked has a charm that is quite rare in text adventures today. Add this to the strangeness (travelling to Narnia through a wardrobe!) and occasional wit (asking Suzie about "a good time" refers to her musical talents) and there's a game well worth playing here.



Logic: 6 out of 10
Whereas most of the game is logical, it gets quite strange at times. Entering a wardrobe leads you to the Land of Narnia and an encounter with Mr Tumnus and Aslan. That aside, tasks are generally logical although a few are difficult.

Problems: 8 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
Very few. An annoying one came with trying to travel on the train: the conductor seemed to think I didn't have a ticket even though I did.

Story: 7 out of 10
Not much in the way of a background story but the game is interesting enough once it gets going.

Characters: 6 out of 10
The town of Ambersville is populated with quite a few of them. Unfortunately they don't really have a lot to say although some of the descriptions for them are amusing - Boff looks a little older than Biff (i.e. not quite so much acne).

Writing: 6 out of 10
Above average for the most part although some of the location descriptions could have used fleshing out a little.

Game: 6 out of 10
Nicely written and interesting to play.

Overall: 39 out of 60
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