Here is a review of Anchorhead by someone who’d never played any IF before but was persuaded by TIGSource and Play This Thing! reviews to give some a try. It’s kind of cool to see what he thought was good and what he thought was frustrating about the format.
The rest of the site is interesting too.
2 thoughts on “Outside take on Anchorhead”
Hey, thanks a lot for the plug Emily–I appreciate it.
It’s interesting the criticism. However, in a game about exploration (classic adventures and such), a go to command could break the pace, because the inner strength of the structure of the game is in the pace of the journey, the pleasure of explore an environment. But I think in a IF where the main topic is a story, or relation with characters, spatial pace could be, and should be overrided; so the pace of the piece remains on the main topics, and not be slaved by the scenery. However, the actual implementations of the go to command, are technical ones… they are like “meta-commands”, that is, they have not connected with the narrative of the story. They have, usually, an ugly output full of system messages of how the journey is going internally of the logic of the map and the game.
So, in a game like Anchorhead or whatever story driven, it would be desirable a goto command fully integrated in the narration, so a “go to the university library” would develop a beautiful paragraph describing the transition and weather conditions of the journey, open umbrella in hand, maybe inserting some thoughts in the mind of the PC, or fears.
In exploration games like Nightfall, the goto command works quite well although it is step by step, because the exploration of empty city is a main topic of the piece.