IF Competition: Opening Night

Another IF Comp review, following my format for this comp. There is a cut, then any spoiler-free comments I have, and then spoiler space, and then more detailed feedback that assumes the reader has tried the game.

But first, we have some obligatory filler to try to make sure that the RSS summary does not accidentally contain any review. Filler, filler, la la la…

Okay. Here we go.

Reasonably solid implementation and some cool images. Most of the puzzles are fair but not startling; the first one is actually the hardest to guess at, I’d say. The story doesn’t quite have the amount of impact it’s meant to have, though.









Essentially, my sense here is that we get part of the story interactively and then the author starts to feel that there is no way to give the whole picture without dropping into those italicized bits of explanatory narration — at which point it all makes more sense but becomes a lot less compelling. I liked it when we were still subtly shifting time periods and experiencing strange visions.

We also don’t get to experience the performances in a way that actually brings them to life.

The current game feels like the outline of a much bigger work that would be required to tell this story effectively — something with more interaction in different time periods, and a greater role for the principal NPC, and where the bits currently spelled out in narration could be dramatized instead.

Still: this was tested, it basically works, and it has some neat things going on. I think the author could improve his approach to designing a game to tell a story, but he’s doing fine with a lot of the fundamentals. I’d be glad to see more work by him.

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