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


Author: Tommy Herbert
Language: z-code
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 worth noting.

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.

Final score: 4 (Revised: 5)

High point:
I thought the beginning was marvelously written. The interplay between the player, the angel, and Bellclap was priceless.

Low point:
Reading the walkthrough and not thinking to myself, "Oh, that makes sense." In fact, it was the opposite.
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