Author: Tommy Herbert
Original score: 4
Revised score: 5
This game had one of the more clever and interesting twists of games
in this year's competition: the parser makes use of first-, second-, AND
third-person voice. Because in this instance, the parser acts as an
intermediary between you, some type of diety, and Bellclap, one of your
followers. The role of the parser seems to be played by a type of angel
or other celestial minion. As you give instructions, your angel relays
them to Bellclap, who may or may not act upon them.
I found the text of the game to be skillfully written. The
1st/2nd/3rd person voice appears to have worked flawlessly in the
sessions I played. The game's major failing is its puzzles. I simply
could not find any clues presented that would have suggested the course
of action required to reach the game's conclusion. The diety that you
play could almost be considered an accretive PC: certainly I would
expect even a minor god to have more knowledge about the workings of the
world than myself. The problem with Bellclap is that this knowledge is
in no way ever conveyed to me, the player and interactor. So I had to
rely on the walkthrough and even after reading it, I couldn't fathom how
I was supposed to guess the required actions.
As I said above, the use of all three perspectives worked without
error in my plays of the game. I couldn't find any technical issues
I have to admit, this game held great appeal to me early on. I ran
quickly into its unfathomable puzzle and when I followed the walkthrough
and realized the entirety of the solution, the game lost its charm. The
game is actually fairly brief, consisting of one aggregate puzzle
comprised of a few smaller steps. So with that puzzle done, the game
was ended. The good news is that I think that the game can be fixed.
It just needs to give the player some clue as to why Bellclap needs to
do the things required to win. As it is, I feel like there's a whole
fleshed-out mythos here that's kept deliberately hidden from me even
though I need to be familiar with it in order to finish the game.
I thought the beginning was marvelously written. The interplay
between the player, the angel, and Bellclap was priceless.
Reading the walkthrough and not thinking to myself, "Oh, that makes
sense." In fact, it was the opposite.