The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit


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 TDS » Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:21 pm

S.E.R.E. - Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape by Skypig

You never saw what hit you. Your first thought was that your pilots were flying too low, too fast and struck a tree or a mountain top. Then you heard the pilots screaming "SAM, SAM, we're hit!" Shock, fear, panic. Not one of your drunken boastings ever included peeing in your pants but thats between you and God if you don't make it out of this.

In this game you play a soldier whose plane has crashed and must survive the enemy that happens to patrol the forest you end up in. It's a concept that you don't see everyday in IF and I wish there were more espionage/military games out there. Unfortunately this one doesn't exactly bring glory to the genre.

It's a short game so it doesn't depend on its story to carry it. The story is placed at the beginning and end of the game, as I expected. I didn't expect an epic storyline from a game that's short like this but a quick snippet of what the player was doing before the attack would be nice. The writing isn't the greatest as you might tell from the introduction but it passes for standard text adventure fare. The problems don't really start with the "fiction" but rather the "interactive" part of the game.

This game goes out of its way to present itself with a flashy intro with colors, music, and a menu that adds nothing to the game itself. Although that I don't mind. What I do mind is the screen refreshing itself every time I enter a new room or type "look". Having the screen clear all the time makes me wonder what was the point of the author doing this. Almost every room or description in the game is indented yet there are some that aren't. Trying to spice the game up in that way fails because it isn't consistent.There are odd breaks in the text and the incongrous use of colors scattered throughout the game makes things look even worse.

I think less time should've been spent on presentation, and more time spent on the actual game. Guess-the-verb gets so bad it's ridiculous. It seems like the author has only one command for most things to be done. I tried "shoot sniper" and later found out I had to "fire at sniper" despite the intro telling me that was the correct syntax to use. The game is lazy when it comes to descriptions. Sometimes three or four distinct objects are covered with one description. Other times you won't even get a description. Other times you'll get a description...for another object!

As I said before, there is guess-the-verb and it makes solving puzzles a pain. There are numerous ways to say and do things but the author restricts you to just one. I definitely wouldn't have guessed the wording used in some situations without the aid of a walkthrough. Guess-the-verb even ruins cool concepts such as looking through a sniper rifle using rooms to navigate your line of sight. Sometimes I get killed and am flashed to a poorly-done "game over" room. More bad presentation.

I think the game could be better if more attention was paid to the gift rather than the gift wrapping. Because of this the game doesn't rank highly to me.

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