Discussion of Beneath, from IF Comp 2007.
I’m not sure what this is about, because it’s another one I bagged early. Well, not early exactly: I played several sessions of it, probably thirty or forty minutes in all, each time trying to work out what my mission was or what was going on. All I managed to do was wander aimlessly around town, occasionally running into some little episode that didn’t seem to advance my situation particularly. I’d get bored and put the game aside for a while to come back to. When I came back, I would find that I had no more idea than before what I was supposed to be accomplishing or why I was supposed to care. Finally I bowed to the inevitable and actually quit.
There were some implementation details that kind of grated on me, on the way there, like the way that your feet “click on the pavement” all the time, even when they shouldn’t. Like
Your feet click on the cement.
You can’t reach the fire-escape.
This is a pretty niggly complaint, but given that all I’ve been able to get done in this game so far is wander all over the place, my feet clicking and clicking and clicking with every step, the niggling starts to seem significant.
So I’m giving this one up too.
One thought on “IF Competition Discussion: Beneath”
I had that complaint too!
Beneath is actually pretty interesting to walk through, but you’ll see that few of the proper actions are motivated. This game is apparently based on some specific novels, so maybe a familiarity with them would help. Not an ideal situation for a contest entry, to say the least, but walking through, you can tell there’s some actual substance to the game and its puzzles.