IF Comp ’08 Review – Leena Ganguli’s Trein!

October 7, 2008

Another word I’m going to have to look up.  You know, I’d thought I had a fairly good handle on what words meant, but this competition is proving me sadly wrong.

Huh.  As far as I can tell, it’s not an actual word in English.  Okay, no idea what this game’s going to be about.  Time to fire the mofo on up.


Seelie?  Is that a word?  Oh, okay, Wikipedia tells me that in Scottish folklore, fairies are divided into the Seelie Court, who are nicer and play better with humans, and the Unseelie Court, who are just dicks.  Carry on, game!

Oooh, I’m a spy for the King.  How sexy is that?

Also, is this going to be a medieval version of Silent Hill?  It looks like it’s going to be a medieval version of Silent Hill.

You can see a Large Table (on which are a Potato Bag, a Vegetables Bag and an Empty Mug), a Stew Pot (in which is a Grain), a Tavern Bench (on which are a Barkeep and a Drunkard), a Tall Guard, a Scarred Guard and an Older Guard here.
All the Nouns in this Game have Capital Letters at their Beginnings!  This might become a Bit of a Nuisance!

Lot of effort went into the descriptions on this one.  You can tell Leena Ganguli really wanted a fleshed-out environment, which is always something I appreciate.

Few minor typos along the lines of missing or extra periods/endquotes, that sort of thing.  Personally I find that easy to forgive, but someone should go back in there with a sponge at some point.

> ask barkeep for ale mug
The Barkeep has better things to do.
Than her job?

Why don’t I have any money?  Does the King not bother to pay his spies?  Should I sell my a Dark Clothing (being worn)?

> x bench
People sit on this. It also has graffiti carved on it, such as  “I want salad” .
…now you’re just being silly.

Potential apologies to Leena Ganguli, but this game sort of feels like Riverside Part Two.

I should’ve known the fireplace was unexaminable, because it isn’t the Fireplace.

…wait, if I go far enough east I loop back around to the Western Dirt Road, and vice-versa.  I’m willing to accept this but it’s not how directions work.

The next person who comes up with a monetary system for their medieval whatever that is not based on gold/silver/bronze gets a big fat tongue-kiss from me, whether they want it or not.

I’m starting to… I’m starting to think maybe… there’s this wall, see, and…
You could probably climb the wall if you had a rope.
…and I’ve got this rope, you know, and I was wondering…
A rope is useful for climbing…
…if maybe these facts were connected in some way…
This note details the drunkard’s story and how you must get into the castle (using a rope to climb the eastern wall).
…but I just, I just can’t… okay, I’m done being a dick.  For this paragraph.

Each bench runs along each side of the table. Totally, this setup can hold fifty or so people.
Like, for sure!

> light torch
This dangerous act would achieve little.
You shittin’ me?  There’s an empty torch bracket in the next room and I have an unlit torch.  I THINK I WOULD BE FINE THANK YOU

…huh.  The torch bracket can’t even contain things.  Perhaps that is why there is no torch in it!  I am rapidly losing the goodwill for this game that I had back in the tavern.

What’s the point of these torches highlighting a carving in the stone wall when both the carving and the wall are unexaminable?  That’s like going through a textbook and highlighting the margins.

I’m yanking out the walkthrough.  Oh, silly me, I was supposed to put the torch on the bracket.  No need to light it at all, just somehow manage to balance it on top of the bracket instead of putting it properly in the bracket that torches are supposed to go in… am I the crazy one here?  Right.  Okay.  I should calm down and just be grateful that at least guess-the-preposition makes a nice change from guess-the-verb.

Additionally, a large wall hanging is visible, in a space above the fireplace, which would have been otherwise unoccupied.
Isn’t everything in a space that would have been otherwise unoccupied?  Isn’t there some sort of rule about objects not sharing the same space at the same time?  Is this a quantum wall hanging?

Okay, people, I can not stress this enough:  CHAMBERLAINS ARE ALWAYS ALWAYS EVIL!  IF YOU HAVE A CHAMBERLAIN HE IS EVIL AND HE’S PLOTTING SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!  DO NOT GET A CHAMBERLAIN!  Thank you!  Also if you want people to take you at all seriously please do not use that as a plot point!  Thank you!

You can see a Chamberlain’s door and an Evidence here.
I wonder if this is the evidence I’m supposed to find?

There, too tired to do anything else, you collapse, but not before you make sure that you are still carrying the evidence somewhere within your person.
Y’know, English could very well not be Leena Ganguli’s first language, so I should probably hold back on being an asshole about prepositions.  Also, speaking of assholes, it’s possible the evidence really is somewhere within my person.  I withdraw my snark.

Well, that’s nice.  I won.  I don’t know, it wasn’t the worst thing ever, and I did get the sense that the author was trying.  I maintain that more things should have worked as solutions to puzzles – I tried a bunch of different commands to fill the drunkard’s ale mug before just giving him the jug, and that’s just one example – and that you might want to make people work a tiny bit harder to solve these puzzles, because they’re kind of at the point of not actually being puzzles at all.  Also “turns out the chamberlain is evil” is a terrible plot twist, or, at least it is by now, on this the five millionth anniversary of its birth.

I’ll give it a six, because it was one point better than whatever that game was that was one point better than whatever that other game was that got a four… I swear I am being far more serious and deliberate about these scores than it looks like, really.  Oh, and please, Leena Ganguli, if you make another game, learn what prepositions mean and how directions work!  For real!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: