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The Elevator (El Ascensor) (Spanish)
Reviewed by Duncan Bowman
Maybe it would have been easier if I knew Spanish a
little better, but I had a few Guess-The-Verb problems in
El Ascensor, mostly with pressing the
button to get the elevator to go down & then the standing part. I really wish
these had been easier— the amount of effort I had to put into doing these small
things seems disproportionate to the effort of the actual activities they
simulate. The GTV issues could have been solved in a number of ways. For
example, by making more synonyms for “el ascensor” (it seemed odd to me to have
to look at the elevator apart from the room description, although I tried “x
panel”, “x botones”, “x boton para el garaje” etc. with no luck— perhaps this
was lost in translation) and by making un reposabrazos an object that the player
can stand/sit on instead of controlling it with a task (the object description
makes it quite clear that it should be stood on, but then “stand on reposabrazos”
tells the player “You can’t stand on un reposabrazos!”). Tasks were written
strictly and didn’t allow for much flexibility, so that I was only able to
finish by opening the game in the generator— again, perhaps if I was better with
the Spanish tongue this wouldn’t have been the case.
Despite a few bugs I enjoyed the overall story. From what I understand, the main character (Mario Ramírez García) is a sympathetic underdog type trapped in menial work and self-loathing, and although I lost the character for a bit during the initial trouble I had getting the elevator to move, I reconnected with him once he became stuck. What makes El Ascensor memorable for me is the way that the elevator operates as a metaphor for the main character’s inner feelings of entrapment— and so his escape from the elevator suggests an escape from his inner cage as well.
El Ascensor goes for a retro style that I liked, although I think I would have liked the story just as much without it. The text was a little hard to read because the spacing in the “t” and a few other letters was weird. I appreciated having music, but thought the theme from Legend of Zelda was too well-known to work in another game and didn't quite match with the beginning action of the story. Not sure what the other song was, but it worked. The pictures all had a neat retro quality, best of which was the final image, which built on the character arc in the story (play it & see). I did like the frame put around all the pictures, which gave the game a pleasing sort of iconic continuity.
Overall, I would recommend El Ascensor to players looking for a good story who either aren’t afraid to work for the ending or don’t mind of peeking at the game in the generator to keep the story moving. Hopefully Pipo will make it available on the Adventures page so that it won't become lost in the forum!
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