bishopsreviews (bishopsreviews) wrote,
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IFComp 2009: "Snowquest"

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

Another "snow" game. This one caught my eye when I was scanning titles, mostly because Eric Eve is a long-time competitor and community member, who exhibits technical talent at the least and usually a respectable level of craft as well.

What seemed an error in description set me on the wrong path; I was expecting to have to get to the tree to detach the broken branch, not find it already on the ground. However, from there on the first puzzle was fairly reasonable, as were most of the subsequent puzzles (I didn't get what was going on with the crystal window at all).

Structurally I found this game problematic: the extended dream sequence the first night, the flashback the second morning... it's an alternative to textdumping, but it does much to break up the narrative flow. Of course the narrative flow as a whole slides off the rails later.

In terms of assessment, I find this game moderately problematic: like this comp's other "Snow" game, it's narratively disjointed, well written, technically polished, and makes some dubious design decisions. Unlike "Duel", it actually has a resolution, although the resolution feels, in some ways, rather trifling, and the twist near the end introduces more questions than it answers. This is definitely a satisfactory game on many levels: as Eve's record predicts, what it does it does well. But in the end it feels like several decent ideas stapled clumsily together: the dream-sequence-as-metaphor-for-reality (which manages to go two levels deep, with some of the metaphors in the third level not even existing in the first) is a bit overused, and the hardboiled who-to-trust narrative seems to be from a rather different genre.

Tags: if, ifcomp 2009
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