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A Short Damn Fantasy Adventure(A.S.D.F.A.) - 3 out of 10

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Postby Cobra1 » Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:46 am

I took a look at what this game promised...A fun game, comedy, a slightly decent plot...Sadly, all three were nearly dashed to bits by obscure clues, pointless jabbering and almost impossible-to-figure-out sequences...

Quest for the missing background.

As you start this game out, you discover immediately that it must be some kind of dream, because of how it feels...I let that pass as comedy. A few more lines of text(and an improperly set up <waitkey> command) later, we arrive at the actual game. First thing I notice is our dear friend Rancid the Butler nearby...Snickering at the name, we observe as he shows complete and utter resentment towards our character. Through further interrogation, we find out that he works for you, and that you seem to be some sort of ruler. However, asking more questions provides even more questions. One question has you exclaiming that you defeated an evil wizard and a dragon...when? To complicate things further, he mentions that you accomplished those only with the help of your "dwarven friends"...what dwarves? What friends? Asking about them by name only causes...(I hesistate to say vague as THAT seems too small) barely text-worthy help. This follows suit with about 90% of anything else you ask him or anybody you encounter...

Well, with Rancid providing so little(then again, why should he considering who he is), I decide to roam the halls of this mansion. Little did I suspect, more traps were laid by the author...no, not the puzzles themselves...at least, not in the sense you are probably thinking.

Highly-prized, not-quite pay dirt!

My first wandering takes me to the cellar, whereupon the game makes some rather strong hinting about what's in the coffin I find down there. Like any good adventurer, I save and proceed to examine the area. Doing so causes me to collect some dirt...No clue what it's for, but surely it must be good for something. Checking the coffin gets the tenant inside rather irritated of which I barely escape(or so the text goes). All right...Point taken, I must deal with said tenant in order to proceed with this adventure. I head back upstairs and continue my exploration.

My next find is a statue too heavy to be carried, so I begin pushing it. The author takes a moment to chew me out and tell me that I need to indicate a direction...Fine, I'll accept that. I push it to the stairs, hoping to smash that crazed vamp...err, tenant...to pieces! But when I push it, I find that I instead burst the door open...hmm, didn't see where it ever said it was locked, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume I missed it. Sadly, this did little else, but I'm not discouraged.

I move on to find the chef, my opinion of the best part of the game(I'm a sucker for poor taste in humor). He will proceed make several jokes, rude functions and provide even less help than Rancid did(how'd they manage that one?)! So here I am, a handful of dirt and nothing to use it on. Cauldron reveals nothing useful(yet) and neither NPC is giving me much help...bad start...

You want me to do what with huh?!

An hour later, I'm no closer after trying everything on everything that I know, so I use the all-purpose cheat...I open the Generator and the file. Checking carefully I find I am to(get this) throw the dirt at the curtain. Now, who in their right mind would think of that...or that it would be critical? Such puzzles abound as you delve deeper. The very next room reveals a dwarven ally of yours, Otto. However, you can't talk to him upon entry...You have to leave the room and re-enter before you can actually speak with him. You'll also have to NOT do as the game tells you later on(something I call a taunting trap...and don't appreciate). You'll have to attack Rancid with something else, but it must be that specific item. You'll have to punch someone...for seemingly no reason and also friendly to you! Never are you given a real answer for this...Just be mad and angry! What more is needed in a ruler? I found myself consulting the Generator every 15 minutes...in a 9 room game that's entitled as "Short", that goes beyond "Hard" and into "Recycle Bin Fodder".

However, I held tight and waited for the ending...and got nothing for it. The ending leaves us basically with the message "Answers in the sequel!". Nothing else is explained...the Dwarves show up, but they don't explain themselves. A gnome acts angry because of someone that was "messed up". However, you never find out what you did to the guy. Plus, aside from Rancid's comment, nothing further is mentioned on that dragon...what happened to it?!

Shattered Sleep

In the end, I kept the game, if merely for the Chef's comments and little unique puzzles. Unfortunately, to see them would mean to re-enter this bad dream. That is one thing I don't plan to do soon...


3/10(Terrible Nightmare)
Chameleon : The more human you are, the less human you are forced to be...
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Postby David Whyld » Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:12 pm

Ouch! Was it really that bad? :/

I'm assuming you're playing the longer version of the game. I originally wrote it for a one hour comp and, if the truth be told, the storyline didn't make a whole lot of sense as I had just an hour to come up with it and get it written. I later rewrote the game, fleshing out some of the locations and descriptions, adding extra puzzles and generally making it quite a bit larger. However, I can see from your review that I didn't think to mention anywhere in the game that it is in fact a sequal (to two earlier games I wrote called YADFA and ONNAFA) and unless you'd played the other games, you'd probably be unaware that it was a sequal. The dragon mentioned by Rancid shows up in ONNAFA and the dwarven companions show up in both of the earlier games. I guess when I wrote I blindly assumed, wrongly as it happened, that anyone playing it would be familiar with the other games.

My next find is a statue too heavy to be carried, so I begin pushing it. But when I push it, I find that I instead burst the door open...hmm, didn't see where it ever said it was locked, but I'll give the benefit of the doubt and assume I missed it.


It should tell you when you leave the cellar for the first time that a door has slammed shut behind you. It's a while since I wrote the game so maybe I'm remembering it wrongly but I'm pretty sure that's what it does.

I am to(get this) throw the dirt at the curtain. Now, who in their right mind would think of that...or that it would be critical?


Ouch! For some reason when I wrote that, I had the impression it would be an incredibly obvious thing for the player to realise but now I'm wondering why I thought that. Why would you throw dirt at a curtain? I'm damned if I know. Maybe I was planning to include some reference to dirt in the curtain description or some other hint but never got round to doing it.


Anyway, thanks for the review (even if you didn't like it :( ). I'm thinking another rewrite might be in order. Maybe version 3 will be a bit better.
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Postby ralphmerridew » Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:07 am

Well, I personally prefered the one-hour version; while it was buggy, I thought the game fit together better; the bits added to R2 seemed too arbitrary.
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