From the desk of Penrose

October 8, 2009

Earl Grey

Filed under: Uncategorized — gpenrose @ 6:57 pm

A game about a teaparty.  Maybe.

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In this game, the player receives a magic item which allows them to remove letters from words within the game, thereby changing those items into new things with new properties.  Plants are turned into pants.  The removed letter can then be added other words.   Savaged into salvaged.

I like this sort of word game.  It reminds me of the old “Letterman” cartoon which used to be a regular feature of the American children’s television program, Electric Company.  But the puzzles here are too obscure.  Early in the game, the spell has to be applied to a “father” who isn’t present, and can’t be examined.  In the next scene, the spell is applied not to a noun, but to an adjective which isn’t even used in the main description of that noun (I’m talking about the guardsman puzzle, for those who have already played).

I used the walkthru to get to the second scene.  At this stage the game structure is very linear.  At each point there is one object, and maybe only one object, which can be affected by the spells and allow the story to move forward.  This is frustrating, as it provides limited motivational feedback to the player who is hopelessly guessing what word, often burried deep in the text, they need to direct their magic toward next.  The length of the walkthru suggests there is a lot more to play, and that the author did put their heart into writing this work, but the obscurity of the puzzles, the linear structure, and the general lack of interesting responses to alternate actions makes this game quite frustrating for the player.

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