IFComp 2008: The Missing Piece

Another GUI-based RPG by C. Yong, the author of last year’s The Lost Dimension. Spoilers follow the break.

missingpieceUnsurprisingly, this is basically the same game as last year’s. It’s somewhat more polished, though. The color scheme is more sensible, the look a little less amateurish. (Although it now features some random clip-art — what is the icon on the “Take off” button supposed to represent, anyway?) The awkward semi-CLI is compeltely gone, and good riddance. The randomized combat is no longer completely noninteractive: it lets the player use spells, firearms, and potions in the middle of battle. This is a good first step towards a combat system that’s not completely boring!

Probably the biggest improvement is that examining monsters now gives you their basic stats (current hit points and experience level), allowing you to make informed decisions about which ones to attack first. You can make an interesting game out of this sort of thing. Maybe after a few more iterations this author will be making something like DROD RPG (about which more later).

I do of course still have complaints. The game needs a proofreader, and there seems to be a bug that lets you use hand grenades over and over again if you do so outside of combat mode. (Although I’m not sure I should really complain about that; without it, it seems like some of the early encounters would be impossibly difficult.) And as for the interface, I still have to hunt for the right controls every time I want to use them. In fact, that’s gotten a little worse, due to the new tab system that puts most of the verbs on one tab, examining objects in the room on a second, and examining inventory items on a third. If I’m in the Inventory tab, I naturally want to be able to apply actions to things in the menu in front of me, but instead I have to go to the Action tab, find the action, and pick the item out of a the menu it brings up. There are better ways to do this! Look at any serious CRPG!

Rating: 3

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