IF Comp 2010: Mite

As has been my practice for the last few years, I’ve set my RSS feed to truncate entries so that I can post reviews without spoilerage. Within an entry, there is a short, spoilerless discussion (though the comp purists may want to avoid reading even that before playing for themselves); then spoiler space; then a more detailed discussion of what I thought did and didn’t work in the game, if appropriate.

I’m also pursuing an approach I came up with a couple of years ago: I’m playing and reviewing games that have listed beta-testers, and skipping those that don’t. In 2008 that turned out to be a pretty fool-proof indicator of which games were going to end up scoring 4 or less on my personal scale, and it made my reviewing process a happier one in 2009, so I’m sticking with it. I’m hoping this will mean I have more time to devote to the remaining games, which in turn will (I hope) be of higher quality, and you, dear reader, will have fewer rants inflicted on you.

Next up: Mite

This is a tiny game in which you’re a tiny person on a tiny adventure: a pixie quest across a garden. It might be appropriate for children, especially children guided by an adult.

The puzzles didn’t feel that difficult to me, but neither were they generic. They’re largely themed around dealing with the world on a different scale: none of the objects you need would be useful to a full-sized human, but they’re great for a miniature one. If you do get stuck at all, there’s a nice hint menu that opens up as you go along.

What’s more, Mite mostly avoids turning the amazing wee fairies premise into anything too Victorian-cutesy, which is what I feared at the outset. And there’s some charm and humor in the way it offers a pixie’s perspective on common garden objects.

I found a few minor polish issues here and there (a couple of typos, and a weird bug affecting the endgame that others have noted), but nothing that looked like it would take more than ten seconds to fix for a rerelease.

(There are different kinds of bugginess, for what it’s worth. There’s bugginess that takes the form of little surface things being slightly wrong, in a way which is maybe a bit distracting but obviously fixable, and then there’s bugginess where the whole structure of the game seems to wobble alarmingly when weight is put on it. I did not run into any of the second kind of bugginess here, and in fact had the impression that at that level things were very solidly constructed.)

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