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cgdc #7 – Escape Into Fiction

February 5, 2010

Ah… an old dusty library. Sounds like my kind of place.

And deserted too, can’t be bad. Just me and my books. Finders keepers after all. Can’t be too difficult to escape a library. The question is, do i want to? ‘Cos i’m not so damned sure that i don’t want stay here. It is, when all’s said and done, a dusty old library. Yes i know i said that already, but seriously now, do i really want to get out of here?

Well yes, apparently i do.

OK then. If i must…

Well this is bloody annoying. This is one of those games that tells you about stuff in the room descriptions but absolutely refuses to acknowledge it’s existence when you try to eXamine it, or in fact interact with it in any way, which is strange really for a couple of reasons.

1)This is a work of interactive fiction. I draw your attention to the word interactive here.

2)This is hardly a surprising new development in IF. I mean, it’s been said quite regularly(not least by myself) by a good many folk that it’s just bad form not to be able to interact with stuff that’s mentioned in the room descriptions.

I’m pretty sure i could rant about this game for quite some time, going into lengthy detail about how this sucks and how that is quite sucky and that the thing over there suck-sucky-suck-sucks in a big way, but i’m not going to waste time like that. I’m just gonna go through it(as far as i got) and see if there’s anything of note at all in amongst all this suck.

So we start off in this dusty old library. Seems to be abandoned, and i have to say i particularly liked the image it conjured up in my minds eye. After some eXamining and searching, we find a book which when read sucks us into it’s very own little world. We then extract ourselves from this world through various little puzzle solving gymnastics which inevitably involve finding another book which in turn sucks us into it’s little world etc, and this presumably continues until things can suck no more or we in turn get sucked up our own… well anyway, i say presumably because i played for a good 40mins and have to say, i think i probably deserve some sort of award for that.

Notice how the word suck kept cropping up there? That was pure coincidence, i assure you. Even so…

In case anyone’s interested, i went from the original library to the hut to the different library to the air balloon to the little island before giving it all up as just that bit too much of a painful slog. By my count that’s 5 different places, 4 if you don’t count the little island which you crash on.

And to be honest, that’s all i can bring myself to say about this one, apart from perhaps that i’d be surprised in the extreme if this author wasn’t a first time one. Nothing wrong with that of course, just seems like a baptism of fire for the author and yet more of the same sucky stuff for the players. I mean, maybe he could have entered in a not quite so high profile comp. initially before jumping straight into the fire, or maybe released it outside of a comp. to judge the reaction. I dunno, maybe i’m just plain wrong.  Perhaps it’ll do quite well, but compared to some of the other entries, i doubt it.  The quality of most of the games i’ve played thus far seems to be pretty high.

Still, good luck with not sucking next time. At least, not so much anyway.

2 out of 5. For the nice library at the start and then going swiftly downhill from there.

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