IFComp 2011: Last Day of Summer, by Cameron Fox

This is the sixth game I am reviewing for the 17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition; if you’re a judge, don’t read on unless you have already played and reviewed the game yourself.

Blurb: It’s the last day of summer, and you’re old enough now to go into town by yourself.

Well, this one was pretty short, and it was a pleasant trifle. In many ways it falls into the danger zone staked out aggressively a few years ago by Eruption: there’s nothing (or not much) wrong with it, but there isn’t much there, either; overall this conforms to the minimum standard of what is regarded as “acceptable Comp fare”, with competent prose and technical issues but not much substance. At most times the next action was fairly obvious, with the notable exception of some movement commands, since exits weren’t always obvious, and in finding the key, which seemed rather illogical.

I’m not sure what could make this one better. A greater sense of place, perhaps, or some backstory, or more sparkling prose. Even as short as it is, it doesn’t seem like it has to feel trifling, but nonetheless, my scheme really won’t admit something better than a 5 unless it goes someplace which looks compelling. From the original conceit and intro I had high hopes, of a maybe mythic or coming-of-age story, but these elements don’t actually show up.

Rating: 5 (maybe a 6 if I get particularly generous)


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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