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Star Wars: Escape From Dagobah

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Postby David Whyld » Mon Jan 09, 2006 8:54 pm

Star Wars: Escape From Dagobah by David Leavitt (a Quest game)


Ah, good old Star Wars. I was always a fan of the films as a kid but less enamoured with the newer ones. If a really great text adventure was 'A New Hope' or 'The Empire Strikes Back', then this one would firmly be in the territory of 'The Phantom Menace'. Which isn't to say that it's a terrible game by Quest standards. By Quest standards it's actually not bad. Judged by the standards of any other system, though...

The background is brief and to the point: you're delivering a cargo to the aid of Princess Leia but the freighter you're on crash lands on the surface of the planet Dagobah. As sheer good luck would have it, you have survived whereas everyone else died. Betcha didn't see that one coming.

Escape From Dagobah highlights some of the best and worst of Quest. On the positive side, the room descriptions are pretty decent. Nothing particularly special and unlikely to win awards for style, but adequate for the job in hand. On the negative side, the author hasn't taken the time to override the Quest default and so every room description you see has a few lines appended to it that have all the depth of a shopping list. Kinda kills the atmosphere. So you might have:

You are in Forest.

There is Sharp Rock here.

You can go north, south, west or up.

The trees are old, with rocks and shrubbery situated in an arranged pattern around the trunks. There is a tall sharp rock pointing to the air. Some trees look as though they can be climbed.

The actual description of the room isn't bad, but why oh why not override the default so it doesn't list YOU ARE IN FOREST right at the start? And Quest's annoying habit of capitalising item names doesn't help matters much either.

Elsewhere, the game's shortcomings are more apparent. One location advises me there are trees that can be climbed but the CLIMB command doesn't work. There are items that can clearly be read – a note from Yoda and a list of the crew – but READ doesn't work. There are items – a vine being one of them – that can't be picked up. There are enemies that can't be attacked – or at least KILL, ATTACK, SHOOT, FIGHT and HIT don't work.

Fifteen minutes into the game and I was aching to quit. Like I said at the start of this review, for a Quest game this isn't bad, but that still doesn't make it any good.

3 out of 10
David Whyld
 
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