Author: John Pitchers
Like "01", you wake up with no memory of exactly how you got to your
current location. However, this game does have a plot and a story.
Your amnesia is only short-term and alcohol-induced. In no time, you
are off, in search of your missing companion and entangling yourself in
all kinds of unpleasantness.
Just a recommendation: don't start your intro with
"***BBBBRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAWWWRRrrrrr***". Or with
giant ascii letters. Or a giant ascii eye. (The font size and colors
I'll cover in the Technical section.) The intro is written in a very
informal, conversational style. In fact, some of it is supposed to be
the player's own thoughts, but isn't set apart from the rest of the text
by quotes or italics or any other convention, leading to some initial
confusion. (I played on a Unix TADS terp that doesn't do italics, but I
went back and verified on a Windows HTML TADS terp.) The rest of the
game is in a fairly standard tone with mostly dry descriptions simply
listing room features and exits each in a separate sentence. The story
itself isn't bad. You find yourself framed for a crime you didn't
commit and must find a way to clear your name. The problem is
implementation. At the beginning, you have to commit a pretty
bone-headed action in order to proceed. Otherwise you're forced to
wander around the small map until you starve (yes, the game has a hunger
timer). Later in the game, as you start discovering clues, the ending
becomes glaringly obviously fairly quickly. Even so, the PC seems
shocked when it's all made clear.
Like I said above, I initally played in a plain text interpreter.
When I ran Redeye in a HTML TADS terp, I was able to appreciate the
horror of giant fonts and bright green text. Really, there's nothing
wrong with the defaults. As for technical issues with the game itself,
I found plenty. There are a lot of prominent room features that weren't
implemented. For one that was... well, if you're going to have the line
"I wouldn't touch them if I were you" in the object's description, at
least have a special response to TOUCH OBJECT. There were especially
irritating disambiguation problems in both of the bathrooms in the
beginning area (and neither seemed to serve a purpose). At one point
near the end, a police officer addresses me by my companion's name. By
far, the worst bug was inside the taxi. You can't LEAVE. You can't go
OUT or O. Directions don't work. You can't OPEN THE DOOR. You can't
EXIT. The only recognized syntax is "GET OUT (OF TAXI)" and I literally
died of starvation (in game, of course) before I was able leave the cab.
This is one of those problems that would have been caught right away by
a beta-tester, but manages to sneak into release because developers have
natural blind spots when it comes to trying alternatives to what we know
What really affected my score for this game was that I just wasn't
having fun playing it. I ran into too many issues that sapped my
enjoyment: the missing scenery, obvious disambiguation, railroading for
the sake of the story, important NPC conversation topics not
implemented, and of course the problem with the taxi. I just wasn't
getting into the game, I didn't care about the character, and the ending
was not the surprise that it should have been.
Finding that shotgun in Arthur's pants. Sounds almost dirty.
Starving to death in a taxi. Best of both worlds: hunger timer and