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The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Silk Road Secrets: Samarkand To Lop Nor

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 David Whyld » Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:06 pm

Silk Road Secrets: Samarkand To Lop Nor by C. Henshaw


This game I liked immediately. There's a decent background and the setting looks to have stepped straight out of the Arabian Nights, almost one of my faves.

Unfortunately, as with the author’s other entry in the intro comp, there are many things about it that leave a lot to be desired and while one might be a flaw on Adrift’s part, the others are definitely down to the author.

Figuring out what to do is hard. There are two locations to begin with but I couldn’t seem to find anything that actually required doing: no puzzles, no people to speak to. Nothing. There were things to examine and the descriptions were nice but no matter what I examined, I didn’t find anything that would move the game further forward. In despair I went to the hints and found the walkthrough. Funnily enough, the walkthrough indicates there's a sword to pick up in the second location which I thought was a little strange as I’d been there and not seen one. But I went and had another look. Still no sword. However, typing “get sword” allows me to take the previously invisible sword. I've seen this problem before so it’s probably some flaw in the game system but I'm surprised the author never noticed it and took steps to fix it.

The next problem involved examining a mosque in the first location which was a problem in the sense that the location description doesn’t list a mosque being there. How was I supposed to know it was there? Beats me.

Then there’s the problem that the walkthrough doesn’t work beyond the first few moves. I'm told to go northeast from the first location but I can’t.

I’m in two minds about whether I’d be interested in playing the full version of this game. On one hand, yes I would. It was well written and I loved the setting. On the other hand, if invisible swords, invisible mosques and a walkthrough that doesn’t even work are what the full game has to offer, then I'm probably better off avoiding it. But I’d like to think that these things will be fixed if this ever evolves into a full game, so…

Do I want to play the full game? Yes.
David Whyld
 
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