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


Author: Mike Eckardt
Language: TADS2
Genre: Science fiction
Score: 4

My first attempts at IF have never been released. Considering how few people use Atari 8-bits nowadays, I don't see it ever happening either. This is good, because first attempts at something are rarely any good. If I ever tried to make a vase on a pottery wheel, you can bet that my first attempt would not go on display in my living room.

This is because as humans, we learn as we go. While our first tries may not be any good, our second or third or fourth might be. "Moonbase" played like a first try at IF. If so, the author shouldn't give up making games, just give it a bit more practice. This game is short, completely uninspired, and contains oodles of mindlessly easy puzzles. So, maybe it's good that it's short. It also contains frequent misspellings, numerous lowercase room names, and inconsistent blank lines and tabs. The author didn't properly identify adjectives for some items, making disambiguation frustrating in some cases. He also felt that a cheeky help message would be more entertaining than actual help:

    "General help may be asked for using the HELP command."
    I said that help may be asked for... not that it would be forthcoming.
Not that help was really necessary, with the level of difficulty of the game overall. As long as you didn't encounter any game-killing bugs, winning is trivial. This means, don't try to wear the exo suit before replacing its battery, because if you do, it somehow becomes too heavy to ever wear again, and the game is now unwinnable. Even when I did win, I didn't have a full score, and was left wondering about the apparent red herrings of the rock and the toy gun. So, what's the verdict? The author should use this game, and maybe his next one, as learning experiences before releasing another game.

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

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