Ürs

cover (12)

I am extremely curious as to why this game is advertised as Leprophilia – which, from a quick google, means : a strong abnormal attraction to people with leprosy. That’s ..interesting… in a game about rabbits. Only joking. I’m assuming it’s meant to be from the Latin for rabbit, Leporidae, and means someone who really likes rabbits? Or worse! No! I’m not going down that rabbit hole. See what I did there? (Technically, appending the philia, to denote strong attraction, to a latin noun, one would keep the whole of the first bit so it would be Leporiphilia. Probably.)

Anyway.

A mid-length choice game, Urs is a strong contender for ‘most beautifully illustrated game in the IFcomp of all time ever.’ The THUD is getting worse, and beginning to destroy the warren you have lived in you whole life. The elders don’t seem to realize the extent of the threat, so you take it upon yourself to investigate.

The world presented here does a good job of creating a mythology – the illustrations work wonderfully to complement the text and give a flavor to this world. The viewpoint is consistent – we are looking at the world through a rabbit’s eyes. Had I a criticism, the third main area – the City – could have been fleshed out more – as it stands, we are presented with three rooms, each of which has a job to do as regards progressing the game. It would have been nice had this been a larger area to explore and had more branching conversation options that gave a lot more info about the Ur.

The game does a good job of mixing it up a bit around interaction mechanism. There is an interesting part in the middle of the game where you are given a graphical navigation mode – all arrows and boxes. This part of the game is quite puzzle oriented, with various mechanisms that can be interacted with and affect one another. However, this can’t be done until you progress further into the game – which does a pretty good job of cuing you on what you need to do to finish.

I wish the text were a little stronger – it needs a final sweep through for typo’s and grammar. It’s the sort of stuff a strong proof-reader would pick up ‘tails’ for ‘tales’, ‘cieling ‘ – that sort of thing. Also, there are a couple of issues with game state – for example, visiting the monolith, doesn’t remember that I actually dug yesterday – so still sends me back to sleep – there are a few of these ‘state remembering’ issues – especially in the machine rooms. Nothing huge, but really need fixing.

It’s not a long game, this. I finished it in about 45 minutes or so, but those illustrations are super pretty – I would put those pictures on my walls. The main ‘game’ element I found to be strong, and, had the text been a little more polished and some aspects given a little more history, this would have been right up there. 8/10.

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