IFComp 2013: A Wind Blown from Paradise, by N.C. Hunter Hayden

I’ll get through as much of the Nineteenth Annual Interactive Fiction Competition as I can. My criteria for numeric grades, unchanged in many years, are here. 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: If we live in the past, we aren’t living in the present, and may as well be ghosts.

Ah, it’s that perennial classic, the overwritten surreality. We are subjected to such bits of leaden prose as

The theory of rest is presented in benches and a single chair, whilst the reality of restlessness exists in the emptiness of a beverage machine. Forsworn of purpose, an empty flieer [sic] rack stands solitary in the far corner.

There’s some interesting scenery-description metamorphosis that goes on as the game progresses, but the underlying actions are predictable and there’s too much randomness and not much to be done other than the specific commands required to get to the ending. A lot of commands are outright broken; commands like “exit” and “listen” sometimes produce no response whatsoever, the vending machine is non-interactable, and “examine me” produces an extremely inappropriate standard response. I would like to be positive, and I can appreciate a mood piece, but this needs a lot more subtlety and a lot more robust implementation.

Rating: 3

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

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