IF comp 2009 – Grounded in Space

October 14, 2009

<Big sighs>

First up, what’s with this randomized list giving me sci-fi games one after the other?  Huh? It’s not intelligent you say? Well why the hell not? It damn well should be. <huff, puff… fluff?>

Although, some of the titles further down the list sound quite good.  I’m quite looking forward to Rover’s Day Out, The Hangover, Gleaming the Verb, Broken Legs and of course – although for different reasons – Eruption <nudge nudge, wink wink>. Becoming quite famous, that one.  Well, you know what they say, there’s no publicity like bad publicity.

So, beers been on ice for a while now.  Fluffy dressing gown engaged.  Cute little puddy-cat curled up beside me.  Ok then.  Lets go.

[…] Note on difficulty:  It is possible to die in several different ways in this story, some of which are non-obvious and some of which don’t always provide immediate feedback that death is imminent.  You are encouraged to save often.

Ok, well i suppose i was warned.  Although i’m not sure i like it.  I’m not sure i like it at all.  Consider yourself told young man.

Also, when attempting to initiate conversation we just get fobbed off.

>ask dad about garden
“You just keep it zipped and listen for a change.”

>ask dad about punishment
He cuts you off.  “Although I’m sure it would be entertaining, I’m not interested in hearing any excuses right now.”

What d’ya mean dad? what excuses?

I’m  being mean again, i know.  But i like to get the little niggly – is that how you spell it – details out of the way early on, since i’m generally in awe of anyone who can put together a game in the first place, let alone work to a deadline so it can be entered in the world famous IF comp.  Yes it is. It’s worrrrrllllllldddddd famous.

And another thing.  And this is much more serious in my view.  What kind of parent doles out a punishment that may, or may not, involve the death of their beloved child?  No matter how much s/he’s pissed you off, surely you should stop just that bit short of killing him, or even her?<smirk>  Am i wrong here?  Being too woosy?  Well i’m sorry, i just think it’s a grounding too far really.

I’ll set up the AI on the Marryat for a punishment regimen, and then you’re going to take it out and mine the Spinward Claim.  By yourself.  For three weeks.

If you can keep yourself alive and your ship intact for a few weeks, you can come back and help put this damage right.  I guarantee you’ll have a healthier respect for the dangers of Belt life after a few weeks alone in a thin metal shell.

No shit!

You’re not really gonna send me off alone into space at the age of piddly-nothing not knowing – or seemingly caring – whether or not i’ll survive are you dad?  Dad?  Daddy? hello?? Daaa-aaa-aaaaa-ddddd?

Am i over-egging the pie?  Maybe i am.  I just don’t think this part rang true at all.  You’d really have to be a noink – yes, i made that up – to think otherwise.  Any-hoo, onwards and fluff-wards.

It’s not the worst game i’ve ever played, but it just doesn’t grab me.  Maybe it’s because i’m just not that enamoured with sci-fi type games.  But at the risk of repeating myself, it simply seems too ordinary and dull and un-exciting.  And yes, i do realize i’m talking about a story involving a youngster living on an asteroid being sent out into space on their own as a strange kind of masochistic punishment to mine stuff all the while knowing that his parents are well aware of the very real dangers to life and that their dear little fluff-muffin may not actually survive to return at all. <breathe, breathe now…>

So, i’ll apologize if i’m being a little too harsh – i probably am – but i’m kinda hoping to find a game that really grabs me by the… well, never mind.  Maybe i’ve been spoilt by the many fantastic IF games i’ve played.  Maybe i’m just expecting too much.  Perhaps i should be reminding myself that this is the IF comp and that people have a limited time to put things together.  But then i think back to Violet for example, and wonder if i’m actually being harsh enough.

Leaving all that aside for a moment, it wasn’t such a bad game. It’s just that it wasn’t a great game either.

It’s implementation was middling to good.  The setting wasn’t really my thing, but then that’s not something i can really blame the author for.  The writing was ok, but not astounding.  Overall, i think even for someone who loves sci-fi, this would struggle to climb much above middle-placing.

Having said all that, and being the kind of bugger i am, i’m likely to re-evaluate the above as my ongoing play-fest with this game – as well as others – continues.

So, updates are always possible, and even probable.

Jeeeezzzz.  That was all very serious wasn’t it?  Don’t know what happened there.  I’m off to sample some Pissy Little Sausages now.

Have fun, and…

Don’t forget the fluff.

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