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Mix Tape

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Postby David Whyld » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:28 am

Mix Tape by Brett Witty

Parts of Mix Tape I really liked. Others had me tearing my hair out in frustration. It’s one of those games best played with the walkthrough to one side of you because you're never going to finish it otherwise.

It’s a game about a break up. You're Valentine (strange name by the way) and your boyfriend Peter has called you up to a cliff top to split up. You're going to burn a scrapbook you made of your time together and reminisce over stuff.

First the good points: it’s well written. Very well written in parts. Nicely wordy without it ever seeming like you're being forced to wade through so much text your eyes begin to glaze over. Full marks for that.

But the bad points? Oh dear. The very first command in the game – and one I was even advised by the game to try – ASK PETER WHY YOU ARE HERE produced YOU SEE NO PETER WHY YOU ARE HERE HERE. The same response got me for ASK PETER WHY *WE* ARE HERE as well. Fortunately, this is one of those games with timed events that just tend to move on if you don’t actually do anything, so after a few more attempts to elicit a response from Peter, I stood there and waited for a bit. Thankfully the game moved on.

Peter very helpfully kindles a fire for me and I try to burn my scrapbook only to be told that I don’t need to burn it. Turns out that this is one of the game’s many guess the command errors. The obvious commands seldom seems to work in this game, as I found to my dismay. But helped by the walkthrough, I managed to get a bit further.

The next scene involved cooking dinner for Peter. This was a fairly simple affair on the face of it as the kitchen has precisely one cookable item in it and one means of cooking it. But actually getting him to eat the meal was a different matter. Honest question: would anyone else try SERVE DINNER before GIVE DINNER TO PETER? No, didn’t think so.

After that, I played the game with the walkthrough, just typing out the commands one by one. In a way this was bad because it’s downright cheating, but as it allowed me to reach the end of the game without slitting my wrists in sheer frustration I consider it a reasonable thing to do.

Aside from the guess the command/verb problems, there were some other errors in Mix Tape. Some of them outright bizarre. I was told I couldn’t lie on Peter’s bed because I was too large for it. (What – am I a giant or something? Or is Peter a midget?) I couldn’t make the bed because I don’t know how to ‘cook’ it. Further in the game, I was advised to put my groceries in the pantry before going into the rest of the house. Which pantry? Beats me. It wasn’t listed in the room description. Funnily enough, when trying to examine it the first time I'm told it’s empty and that it’s closed. How do I know it’s empty if it’s closed? (Okay, okay, I've just bought some groceries but surely I couldn’t see that it was empty if it’s closed?)

Frustrating bits aside, I enjoyed Mix Tape more than quite a few other games in the comp. Play it with the walkthrough to hand and it’s an enjoyable game; otherwise it’s just infuriating.

5 out of 10 (for forcing me to play the game with the walkthrough; +2 if the guess the verb errors and guess what the author was thinking are fixed)
David Whyld
Posts: 6922
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
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