Dilemma

Another game that comes with its own custom parser. I like the ambition of this. However, I’ve got to be honest – unless you do something really cool with it that other parsers can’t do it does feel a bit pointless. So, for example StupidRPG and Tethered are both examples of where a bespoke platform for delivery of a parser game introduces new and exciting stuff into this careworn genre.

Dilemma has been developed in Unity and presents a situation where we, as the player, try and reach the best outcome for a number of moral choices. A bus is crashing – do we save the old man or everyone on the bus? Or do something else entirely. The trolley problem and its various variants is a well worn trope in IF – not that there’s anything wrong with this – if you can take it and do something interesting with it, cool.

Unfortunately, even from the outset, this game’s implementation doesn’t deliver a great user experience. I am faced with a reasonably complex situation, then the whole text disappears and I am asked to make a choice. I can’t remember what the text said. I type in various things and reach a couple of endings.

Then I type ‘go south’ and am in a Fastmart – “Perhaps something here can help you.” Unfortunately nothing I do now elicits any response other than ‘Invalid Choice. Try again.’ – even trying to ‘go north’ doesn’t work. I refresh the screen and restart.

I play through a few more times and reach 12 of the possible 51 endings. It does open up a little after that first point of decision making, with other moral decisions to make. None of them really get past a very basic understanding of 101 philosophy, and some of the outcomes feel somewhat naive and silly.

The parser aspect is not well implemented. It is waiting, I am guessing, for exact strings to be entered. I can’t think of any more. This would have been better implemented as a choice game. 3/10.

 

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