Thursday, October 20, 2016

"You are standing in a cave" (review)

"You are standing in a cave" is a z-code game written by Caroline Berg for the 2016 interactive fiction competition.

The blurb says:
... you do not know how you got here. The last thing you remember is going out to eat at a fancy restaurant. Perhaps you were drugged. Perhaps you had a bad case of food poisoning and wandered off, feverish, into the outskirts of town. Whatever the case may be, you are here now. Wherever here is. And you want to leave.

IF games about caves and amnesiacs have been out of vogue for so long now, I figured this would either be a joke entry or some post-modern take on the genre. But after playing it for a bit I decided this is a sincere, but flawed, piece of fan fiction doing its best to celebrate the magical underground empires of yesteryear.

The sense of magic is there in the writing, but the implementation is weak. "Examine me" gives a default response. "About", "help", "hints" and "credits" all go unimplemented. I scored a few "points" and examined a few things, which kept me motivated for a while. But I was frustrated by a slew of parser issues, and some straight up programming bugs. Had there been a walk-through available on-line, I might have continued. But this isn't something I want to download onto my computer.

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