IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 09:51
I didn't feel like I was given much of a goal, nor any plot along the way. if this is a walk through the ocean of the author's soul, about all I've learned is that I can't read his poetry. (I can't read most poetry.)
Good eye for scenery.
Most of the puzzles... weren't solvable. By which I don't mean they were impossible, or even hard. I mean that, if I lacked the solution, I wasn't given anything that would lead me in the right direction. And if I had a solution without a puzzle, I wasn't given anything that led me in that direction either. A general lack of direction, is what I'm trying to get across here...
Spelling and grammar are somewhat weak. (It's easy to misspell "fluorine", but to blow that and "iodine" both in the same sentence is a winner. :)
Some doors open automatically when you move through them; some don't. And it's not always locked doors that stay closed and unlocked doors that open.
I typed "unlock french door" while holding the key, and it said "You can't reach the lock from this side of the glass." Later I broke the glass and then typed "unlock french door with key", and it said "The key doesn't seem to fit the lock." So I gave up. Turned out that just "unlock french door" would have worked at that point. This was extremely misleading.
The game says it's impossible to get into an unwinnable state, but that's not much comfort when you put on a mask, can't take it off, and die a few turns later. There may be a way to get rid of it, but if the player doesn't know how, it is an unwinnable state for that player, with all the attendant negative consequences. (I.e., if the player hasn't saved, he's screwed.)
For some reason, I really like the fact that if you wander into the pine forest, you come out somewhere randomly. Maybe it's just the Zorkness of it all.
"get bars" hangs the game.