IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-07-01 04:48
Enh, overall. The basic idea could have worked, but the fact that the cliche fantasy world is a superficial layer doesn't make it less dull to play through. There are hints (well, a hint) that something deeper is going on, but you have no way to figure out the truth or do anything with the information. So you have to ignore it. Which means you have to play the game purely at the top level. The ending, therefore, didn't involve me at all. So the protagonist was really killing innocent people? I had no way to know that.
I could only solve a couple of the puzzles without the walkthrough; most of what I was supposed to do was pretty unobvious.
...How then should the game have been fixed? I hear the peanut gallery ask. Good question. More self-consciousness in the writing, I think. When the narrative voice tells us that imps are evil, and the imp is evil, we have no reason to think otherwise. Some subtle inconsistencies would have helped. Even better, some puzzle that could only be solved by taking note of cracks in the fantasy world.
Maybe tying the parent character in with the rest of the plot -- making them more than one-scene backstory announcements.