ParserComp 2022: October 31

Here’s another one it looks like I’m not finishing. The whole idea is that you’re spending the night in a spooky house full of Halloween monsters — at the very least, there’s a werewolf, a skeleton, and a mummy, and on the basis of the garlic and wooden stake in my inventory I’m going to go ahead and say there’s probably a vampire as well. Monsters are killed or escaped in time-limited chase sequences that can come without warning, so saving frequently is crucial. Other than that, it’s a largish exploration game with locked doors and secret passages. It has a bit of a problem with recognizing alternate phrasings, but nothing that an old hand like myself can’t power through with the aid of the in-game hint menu — very often, all I needed from the hints was confirmation that what I had attempted was the right thing, and all I needed to was to rephrase it until it worked. There’s my advice to the author: Accept more phrasings.

On the other hand, phrasing isn’t always the problem. Some of the puzzles are a bit too read-the-author’s-mind-ish, and I found myself playing mostly from the hints after a while. The reason I’m giving up on it at a mere 40% completion is that I finally hit a point that the hints don’t adequately cover — they advise recovering a ring stolen by a mouse by trading some cheese for it, but the mouse won’t take the cheese and I don’t know why.

Seems like it wouldn’t take a lot of reworking to turn this into a decent puzzle-based adventure game, though. It’s written in Adrift, but avoids the most common pitfalls of Adrift games, like overdescribing rooms.

1 Comment so far

  1. Finn on 3 Aug 2022

    Thanks for your review. I appreciate you taken the time to play my game and write a review.
    I’m sorry that you felt that you had to give up and I do hope that you’ll at some point play the post comp. version (no, the doors will still be there I’m afraid ;-). But I will keep that comment in mind writing my next game.
    Just to clarify the ring / mouse / cheese puzzle. When you >x cheese you’ll find that it’s moldy. Although I’m aware that mice will probably eat the cheese anyway, I took the liberty of making the mouse rather choosy, which is mentioned in the text if you try to give him the cheese. So, clean the cheese and give it to him, and he’ll drop the ring.
    As for the phrasing, I can only say that I really did my best (I’ll try to do better next time :-) ) English is not my native language, but I tried to cover all with all the various phrases I could think of and added the ones my testers suggested.
    Thanks for your input, I really do appreciate them all.
    Best regards

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