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IF comp 2010 – Pen and Paint

October 29, 2010

Pen and Paint…

It’s a game about weird shit and random but exactly the same compass direction descriptions.  At least, in the forest book area it is.

Be prepared to play this while referring to the walkthrough constantly.

It’s true mind-reading stuff.

So, it’s pretty normal kind of stuff up to the point where you,

>write in forest book

There are some nice touches, like the jar of silence and the central idea of your wife’s paintings being infected and you having to write to cure them.  But then it got very annoying, very quickly and i’m afraid i just lost interest completely.  Whenever i feel the need to consult the walkthrough on a regular basis, i tend to view the game from then on as a bit of a chore rather than a pleasure.  And why would i continue to play then?  I mean… if i’m just typing stuff from the walkthrough, there really seems little point continuing.  Here’s an example,

>e
Amidst the Trees
You’re lost. The path has faded away, and there’s an awful lack of points of reference. You notice birds flying above you, and feel envious.

You can see some gooseberries here.

>n
You manage to pick your way through the trees, twisting and turning…

Amidst the Trees
You’re lost. The path has faded away, and there’s an awful lack of points of reference. You notice birds flying above you, and feel envious.

You can see some bluebells here.

>e
You manage to pick your way through the trees, twisting and turning…

Amidst the Trees
You’re lost. The path has faded away, and there’s an awful lack of points of reference. You notice birds flying above you, and feel envious.

You can see some daffodils here.

>n
You manage to pick your way through the trees, twisting and turning…

Amidst the Trees
You’re lost. The path has faded away, and there’s an awful lack of points of reference. You notice birds flying above you, and feel envious.

You can see some brambles here.

>s
You manage to pick your way through the trees, twisting and turning…

Amidst the Trees
You’re lost. The path has faded away, and there’s an awful lack of points of reference. You notice birds flying above you, and feel envious.

You can see a wasp nest here.

>n
You come across some thick bracken. After you force your way through, you find yourself uncertain of your bearings. The sun can’t be seen through the branches overhead.

My gods,  can that really be a different description?  Ya know, i think it is…

Amidst the Trees
You’re lost. The path has faded away, and there’s an awful lack of points of reference. You notice birds flying above you, and feel envious.

You can see a thick moss here.

…oh, spoke too soon there then.

>x moss
You recall that this particular type of moss is notable for growing only on the north sides of trees. Hmm…

So, how did i know where to go when all the descriptions are identical apart from the single randomized bit?  Well, i’ll tell you.  I FOLLOWED THE WALKTHROUGH WORD FOR SODDING WORD.  And that’s the only thing i could have done really.  There is no way i could have found the moss other than simply wandering around in random directions hoping for the best and enduring identical descriptions.  In other words, it’s a maze and it’s very annoying.  Why would i put myself through all that?  In fact, as the description(s) says itself,

[…]and there’s an awful lack of points of reference.[…]

…ya don’t say!

Look, this clearly isn’t the worst game ever.  It’s probably quite good in its own way(if it hadn’t royally pissed me off), but now i’m in this walkthrough frame of mind and it really has pissed me off.  Sorry, but i kinda feel hard done by and just don’t really want to play any more.

I’ll be nice and give it a meh 5.  For  some nice ideas at the start, the hateful randomness, the compulsory walkthrough bit and the fact that it simply PISSED ME OFF! …a lot!

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