Tag Archives: text adventure

2017 Game Review Haiku, #41 – The Bottom of the Well

Unsettlingly dream
Your landscape of decisions
Shock–I’m not social

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

2017 Game Review Haiku, #12 – 9:05

2017-gd-games-completed-905-am-capture

Bad night, worse morning
First things first–bathroom routine
Drop items, use words

I can’t believe I’m still doing this. I can’t believe I’ll ever stop. These game summaries in chunks of five, seven, and five syllable lines paint pictures in the mind better than any half a dozen descriptive paragraphs I could ever write. Trust me, I’ve tried. Brevity is the place to be. At this point, I’ve done over 200 of these things and have no plans of slowing down. So get ready for another year of haikus. Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #62 – The Writer Will Do Something

the-writer-will-do-something-capture

ShatterGate must thrive
Cue emergency meeting
Now play the blame game

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

The Temple of No holds a map that sees all things that ever have been or will be (but in map form)

gd final impressions the temple of no

The Temple of No is the first Twine game I’ve ever played. How do I know that, other than being me and knowing everything I do except for the hours when I’m asleep and dreaming about drowning in an ocean of spicy tuna sushi rolls? Well, for starters, I had to look up the definition of Twine before beginning the game. Evidently, when it comes to videogames, it means this: Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories. Basically, HTML-driven code that’s perfect for choose-your-own-adventure models, so long as it is inside a browser. I think you can pick your browser.

And that’s sort of what The Temple of No is, except it is more interested in breaking the fourth wall and ensuring you know that you are not the protagonist of the game than sticking to a structured narrative. The story is based on choice, and so you can either be a man, woman, or frog in search of a “map that sees all things that ever have been or will be (but in map form).” Yeah, y’know. Like the Marauder’s Map, but turned up to eleven. This amusing little jaunt is written by The Stanley Parable’s William Pugh and features gorgeous illustration work by Dominik Johann. Crows Crows Crows, the studio behind the equally free and interesting Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist, are also behind The Temple of No.

Despite its understandably short length, I only went through The Temple of No once. Sure, sure, I’m probably missing out on a ton of jokes and maybe even more bits of delicious, storybook-esque artwork, but when a game is driven by choice–in this case, what words I click on and in what order–I can’t help but see these decisions as firm and final. I followed the man of the story as he worked his way through the jungle and into the temple in search of the map. In my mind, I can’t simply undo that history to see what would have gone differently with the frog character despite being a huge fan of Chrono Trigger‘s Frog design. Psst: if you played through as the woman or frog, tell me a bit about their stories in the comments below. Okay, thanks, bye.

The writing is good and amusingly smart in places, though I did spot a few grammatical errors. Nothing major, just a missing period or word that was lowercased that probably should be capped. Since the game is heavy on text, it is important that the writing be strong, captivating. I found the clicking of words and timing of audio cues to be enjoyable, and there’s one bit where a man begins talking to himself…for a very long time. I eventually cut him off, but I do wonder just how long it goes on for. Regardless, that’s some solid dedication for a joke, but that’s what makes The Temple of No special. There’s great care behind it.

I guess I’ll have to keep my eyes open for future Twine games, as well as whatever comes next from Crows Crows Crows. I really do dig their aesthetic and versatility.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #41 – The Temple of No

2016 games completed the temple of no

Go, brave as a bear
To find that special wisdom
That only TWINE knows

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

2016 Game Review Haiku, #26 – Frog Fractions

2016 gd games completed frog fractions flash

Fractional scoring
Leads to unconventional
Journey to Bug Mars

Here we go again. Another year of me attempting to produce quality Japanese poetry about the videogames I complete in three syllable-based phases of 5, 7, and 5. I hope you never tire of this because, as far as I can see into the murky darkness–and leap year–that is 2016, I’ll never tire of it either. Perhaps this’ll be the year I finally cross the one hundred mark. Buckle up–it’s sure to be a bumpy ride. Yoi ryokō o.

Where do you go in Go North, but forward

gd go north impressions overall

I’ve never been good at or immensely interested in text-based games. I mean, I didn’t even find the text-based computer game Reign of Grelok in Fallout 3, which paid homage to 1980s classics of the same style, like Zork and Planetfall–and I scoured nearly every inch of that game’s post-apocalyptic world for far too many hours. I also gave up on Frog Fractions once it stopped being about diving deeper into the ocean on that numbers-munching dragon and more about navigating yourself out of some small, cramped hatch.

And so, with that history behind me, I went into Go North not really expecting much, hoping to just stay interested and get through it. Well, I certainly got through it, but I’m not sure what the point was. In fact, I came away from this stroll forward from…um, I guess Jim Spanos and friends, feeling like it was mocking either itself or the genre greatly. It ends with a seemingly inside-joke, which might be hilarious to the creators, but fell flat with me, the player.

But what is this game, you ask as we get to the third paragraph? Here’s some descriptive text I myself didn’t write, but rather found on Go North‘s GameJolt page. See if you can grok it:

You know, sometimes, hope is needed in humanity to brace the terrible and the enchanted. To engulf our hearts with embers of the night, as we flow like lava under the moonlit skydome. Are we not men? In our minds, we are. Are we not soldiers? In our minds we are. And bewildered you stand if only to enjoy each other’s mindsets. But without further ado, the perception of the single, greatest, mind-changing game is here.

Poetic, frivolous, forever fallen into the hands of few

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s a text-driven game where you type “go north” to advance to the next screen. I tried typing “go east” and “go west” every few screens to no avail. You do this until the last screen, where the twist/inside-joke plays out. All the narration is overdramatically voiced over by someone either trying too hard or not trying hard enough–regardless, it’s a struggle to listen to.

Let’s chalk Go North up to both not my thing and not made for me to appreciate. Perhaps one day I’ll find a text-based adventure game worth my while, but for now, I’m off in another direction-most likely south–to play something else.