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


Author: Edward Floren
Language: z-code
Genre: Surreal
Score: 6

A game of flashbacks, "Screen" recounts the memories recalled during a visit to the player's childhood home. While the beginning (rather long) flashbacks evoke a feeling of innocence and sweetness, the rest of the game rather disappoints in comparison. The first thing you might encounter is the standard message the game gives you if you can't travel in a requested direction while outside: "You'd miss out on all the good stuff if you went that way." This should have been reserved for legitimate paths that the game wanted to bar, but instead its shown for every direction when you're outside the house.

The puzzles seem to be hit and miss. Primarily, they're all in encountered in two sets of "flashbacks" that you gain while fiddling with the old television set. The first flashback, though, doesn't seem to fit in with the story at all. It's jarringly out of place, like a puzzle in search of a game. The second one, the cage, was simply frustrating. None of the actions I chose gave any kind of decent response, even though I considered them to be pretty valid solutions. For example, when I found the scissors:

    >x scissors
    They're special Caped Crusader scissors. Apparently they can cut anything -- lucky you.

    >cut bars
    Cutting that up would achieve little.

Little? You mean like... preventing me from being dissolved in acid? I received the same type of response when I decided to cut up my cape and use it to lower the key into the acid. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to do that. I had to examine my companion's cape, see the loose thread, and cut that. "Screen" was an interesting experiment, I think, but probably a good learning experience of what not to do in IF.

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

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