Space Punk Moon Tour

cover (13)

As Tina Tessler, you are on your way to the Space Punk gig. You’ve even saved up and bought a ticket on the next space flight oughta here, but first you need to pack.

What seems like a very long parser game, I spent a good couple of hours on this. A lot of work must have gone into this game. There are, literally, dozens of objects. In the first two rooms, I counted at least twenty. The game contains in-frame images, most of which are animated, together with little images of all the objects you have, and even some music.

The extent and scope of the game is extremely impressive.

The implementation is not good, unfortunately. This game really really needed a couple more rounds of Beta testing.  I won’t go into it again, but my caveats for some of the other parser games this year apply – there are frequent places where I’m guessing the verb, or guessing the exact thing I’m supposed to ask someone in order to progress. Occasionally I get the response “(place holder)” when I do something. The vast majority of the objects seem to be of no use to the player. It’s always tempting as an author to try and implement every single thing that could be implemented – but although it’s commendable, it becomes very frustrating to the player. Given a list of 10 objects, I need to examine them all to see which one gives a response other than “It’s just a <objectname>”. Part of the craft of creating parser adventures is giving the player some form of cue about where to focus their efforts.

Then I got this : “Error running script: Error compiling expression ‘Don’t order.’: SyntaxError: Unexpected character: ‘Line: 1, Column: 4”. There are other errors also.

The reason for this is maybe that the author has tried to do too much. Too many NPC’s. Too many rooms. Too many objects. I’ve been guilty of this in the past. You’ve got a bathroom – hey I MUST, as an author makes sure we’ve got a sink, a toilet, a bath, a bathroom cabinet (openable), a bidet, a bathmat…etc…etc…. It always proves a mistake.

It’s a delicate balance – making sure you do enough so the player is immersed in a believable World, but not so much that you spend two days implementing a flushable bidet when the player doesn’t need it for gameplay.

The amount of work that has gone into implementing NPC’s is also impressive. I get a sensible response to most of my relevant questions – and so far I have encountered quite a few other characters.

A walkthru would be extremely beneficial.

I got onto the spaceship and started to explore when my time ran out. It’s a shame about the implementation, as this game is very nicely written, set in an interesting future. 5/10

 

p.s. This isn’t reflected in my thoughts about the game, but playing this online, it crashed twice on me. The first time, all of a sudden – it just stopped. The second time it got slower and sloooower until it eventually stopped. This seems like a general issue with the textadventures site. It isn’t helped by the fact that Save kept failing, even though I was logged in.

 

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