IFComp 2012: Eurydice, by Anonymous

Twenty-four games. Nine days. I might not make it to the end, but I’m still blitzing through the judging for the Eighteenth Annual Interactive Fiction Competition. As always, if you’re a judge, don’t read on unless you have already played and reviewed the game yourself, and if your averse to spoilers, you won’t want to read this even if you aren’t judging.

Blurb: A short game about grief with occasional snakes.

Ooh, classical Greek invocation and a Tennyson opening quote. This will either be pleasantly erudite or insufferably pretentious. The description of the first room includes the sentence:

There are patterns of pressure upon the carpet, suggesting there are
spaces where once there weren’t.

… and we’re leaning towards “pretentious”, cemented a bit by occasional technical errors. Normally I give that a pass, but if you cold-bloodedly drop a description like “These shelves are a framework for nothing but air. The books they held not so very long ago evade you now.” on me you’re kind of asking me to criticize your imperfections.

It continues in a similar vein, really. The author shows some promise, and has some quite interesting ideas about the overall construction, but is occasionally mired in slight technical errors and in a sort of rockiness of tone that’s a mite too self-important. All in all, a quite respectable effort, with a pleasing blend of mythical and real-world elements and a rather wicked psychological edge. The actual puzzle solutions and their relationship to the endings seem a bit peculiar, since we never really get the lyre contextualized, but otherwise I fould the work structurally sound enough. Mostly I’d ask that they please just get the writing under control (er, unless the author is actually infamously overwrought IF author Mark Jones, in which case: congratulations for getting your writing under control!).

Rating: 7


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

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