(none) Quintin Stone - Interactive Fiction Review
Interactive Fiction
Role-playing Games

Getting Back To Sleep

Author: Patrick Evans (IceDragon)
Language: Windows
Score: 5

Rounding out the "wake up from cryo-sleep" trio, Getting Back To Sleep is a Windows-only game that implements a new IF game engine and runs entirely in real-time. Not surprisingly, it doesn't have a lot of features that IF veterans have come to expect from their games.

Since this game had the unfortunate distinction of being the last of the cryo-sleep trio in my randomly generated list of comp entrants, the story had gotten a little stale by this point. I found the writing adequate enough for a game of this type, but the rest of the game rather unremarkable. I didn't care for the hydroponics forest "maze", which really wasn't so much of a maze as a looping series of near identical rooms that seemed somewhat out of place.

You can tell a lot of work went into this game. Having written my own crude IF parsers in the past, I know what an endeavor something this polished was. And in real-time. Which makes it all the more disappointing that many of the staples of modern IF are missing. There's no transcript (I'm reviewing entirely from memory and some notes), no pausing of the real-time clock, no 'it' pronoun, no save and restore, no undo, and no scrollback. And unfortunately the reason for the custom parser, the real-time aspect, didn't really contribute anything to the game. I didn't encounter any part that was enhanced by having events occur in real-time. Instead here's a game that you can't take a break from because there's no pause and no way to save, so you can either finish in one sitting or risk running down the built-in 10 minute clock.

It was not too bad at the beginning. The real-time thing felt more like a gimmick than a real feature, since I didn't see anything yet take advantage of it. However, after a while the lack of save and no undo lead to my death, and I didn't have any interest in starting over from the beginning.

Final score: 5

High point:
This game didn't really have one that I can recall. And I have no trascript to review.

Low point:
Dying and not having an undo or restore command to reverse it.
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