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

The Granite Book

Author: James Mitchelhill
Language: TADS2
Genre: Surreal
Score: 8

"The Granite Book" is quite a surreal experience. Though I'm sure its writing style won't appeal to everyone, I greatly enjoyed its wonderful imagery and bizarre narration. So much is left unexplained, and so many questions are left unanswered. Instead, the imagination takes over. Where am I? Who am I? Why does the game refer to me as "we"? Ahh, must be royalty.

Except for how short the game is, the real shame of it is the number of minor bugs that pop up from time to time. For instance, when I tried to lie on the ground, I received "[Much as we wanted to rest, %youm& had no choice but to go on.]" Oops. The other issue gave me difficulty in solving one of the puzzles. There is a stone table that produces a scene of sacrifice when you lie on it. Sitting on it has the same effect, and this is what I originally did. So I told the girl accompanying me to sit on it, and she would not: "[The girl either did not understand our commands, or she would not obey them.]" It turns out that I needed to tell her to lie on it. Sit worked for me, but not for her. Oops.

So what does it all mean? I haven't the faintest idea, and I don't have enough of an imagination to hazard a guess in this case. Does the vellum, with its "semi-circle, open side facing right; two dots; a diagonal line" represent an ambiguous emoticon, sort of a nod and wink from the author? Does it all really matter? In the words of Number Six, "It means... what it is." And that's good enough for me.

(View this game on Baf's Guide to IF or The IF Ratings Site)

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