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IF Comp ’14 – Arthur DiBianca’s Excelsior!

October 5, 2014

Breaking the betsy in order to not play a game with a pool of blood on the cover at 3:06 AM.  Given how things went down with Eidolon, I feel pretty justified in this.  Remind me to write an autobiographical game sometime where every object is a perfectly normal object but the PC is pants-shitteningly afraid of all of them and then steps on a scorpion.  (I stepped on a scorpion earlier this week and it stung the crap out of me.  Then I stepped on a dead one and got just a little bit of venom in my other foot and for a while I was walking around on two feet full of scorpion venom feeling real good at life.  tl;dr the desert is terrible)

[scorpions begin here — spoilers, I mean spoilers]

Oh good, this game informs me that it is “merciful,” I cannot die or render it unwinnable, therefore I should bring it.  Consider it brung.

Huh, I guess a streamlined parser means that instead of nuanced situational verbs, you just USE things.  I can deal with that.  Also I think I might be a ghost.

Sometimes “use” means “take.”  This feels a little weird.

Wait so there are things to put in other things — sorry, use with — and I think the second floor is a maze, and man, am I really not feeling this tower and these puzzles.  Why am I here exactly?  Did they tell me and I forgot?  “Excelsior” is Latin for “if you see a tower, just keep on climbing that puppy,” right?

So far all this streamlined parser is doing for me is providing a brief moment of irritation when I inevitably type “put cube in niche.”

Oh, wait, I get it, it’s not a maze, typing a direction from any location (except to pass through an arched doorway) puts you in the room [direction] from the central chamber!  That was an all right puzzle and I am okay with it existing.

>use broom with pedestal
That doesn’t need sweeping.
Your FACE doesn’t need sweeping!

Really, G doesn’t work?  Really?  Streamlined parser what are you even for?

Yeah, I am really not feeling this game.  It’s competently implemented, and the puzzles are not bad puzzles, I’ve just hit a spot where I feel like I’m working on too many puzzles at once, and I’m only doing it because they’re there, not because I am enjoying myself or feel compelled to see where the story is going (why am I in this tower again?)  Let’s call it a five.

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