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Fever Cabin Reviews
What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction.
If you likely to
be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not
to open these files.
Reviewed by NASDAQ
You are David Ellison Fever, a 20-year-old who - even after two years of community college - lacks a solid direction in life (sound familiar?). When your
father's frustrations get you kicked out of the house, your mother sympathizes and arranges for you to spend some time away at the Fever family's mountain
cabin (once inhabited by your Uncle Danny, who "mysteriously vanished" ten years ago).
The game begins in the desolate, snowed-in cabin, but before too long, a surprising twist of science fiction whisks the player away to other locales (or
"chapters"), which are played as separate, seemingly-unrelated "mini-stories" within the larger plot - each with their own puzzle-related mysteries to solve.
Fever Cabin is one of the most clever, challenging, and well-executed AIF games I have ever played. The writer's thorough attention to description sucked me in
(without bombarding me), and gave my imagination all the pieces it needed to kick back and enjoy my suspension of disbelief (I got distracted studying the
variations in wall texture/paneling throughout the cabin), which is what, in my opinion, Interactive Fiction is all about. The game's responsiveness to most of
my actions (without giving me the jarring "I don't know the word '_____'") left me the freedom to experiment not only with my surroundings, but with my logic as
well - I was able to take an intelligent idea much further than I would normally bother to in most games.
I was impressed with the writer's ability to take a realistic story, and easily introduce its surreal plot-advancing elements, without disrupting the smooth
flow and overall enjoyment of the gameplay. (GoddoG even used science to tackle AIF's biggest-yet-willfully-overlooked idiosyncrasy: the gift of "infinite sex"
(bestowed upon every player character, in every game) - making it believable AND integral to the plot!) The four chapters are infused with action and suspense,
calling the player to think on one's feet, while employing survival-based decision-making, but they’re not too lengthy to become mired or unexciting.
Part of the beauty of Fever Cabin is it's dual challenge: One can either set their sights on "getting to the end" OR on collecting all 777 points hidden
along the way - both of which are rewarding. The basic puzzles - those that need solving in order to advance to the next stage - are standard (yet solid) IF
fare, requiring only the player's abilities to read descriptions, and put two-and-two together (and maybe use the "look" command properly). The smaller,
"point puzzles" require a more experienced and thoughtful approach. I almost lost my mind before reaching out for help.
Oh, yeah - the Sex: ...DAMN. To further demonstrate his ability to snare a reader, GoddoG introduces the sex teasingly through the first few chapters,
offering all-too-brief tantalizing samples. Disappointing? No. Egging you on? Yes.
Without going into detail, please, just allow me to say: The final scene is one of the most satisfyingly rompy, intricate, multi-faceted sex scenes I can
remember playing in an AIF game - and it somehow manages to remain within the bounds of the STORY! The scene is comprised of a single girls' dorm room in
Texas (from which there is no escape), occupied by David; Lori, a wicked, petite brunette athlete; and Kim, a shapely, dominating blonde of "Amazon Goddess"
stature. And everyone's horny - in light of the recent state-wide ban on all sex toys. And both girls are science majors. And the player is the unwilling subject
of a whole slew of experiments they're conducting for their dissertations. And . . . and . . . jeez, it just goes ON (things even seem to come full circle plot-
wise, but, um, at this point, er - well, let's face it... it's hardly important).
Superb. The game's responsiveness was logical to the point of intuitive. The only "glitch" worth noting is the TADS-typical "no response" to certain (overly-
noun'ed and/or overly conjuncted) commands, which I assume is more related to the TADS operating structure than the author's abilities (Just a hunch-I haven't
tried coding with TADS yet).
GoddoG does a great job of "steering" the game, while maintaining a realistic, deeply-layered playing universe, but I found that the game's vastness of detail
left me with some unanswered questions. This is not a complaint - I must simply move on - but... In most "good" games, the author employs the use of red
herrings, yes? In Fever Cabin, I believe there were elements that crept surreptitiously beyond the realm of "red herring", and into blank corners of
gameplay where seemingly-positive responses to my actions lead me to waste too much time. I'm sure that I'm mostly at fault here, but I can't help wondering:
Was GoddoG able to complete every avenue he had embarked upon in Fever Cabin? Or has GoddoG simply raised the bar in regard to the use of red herrings, as well?
OR (and this is more likely): even after maxing out my score at 777, is there still more to be unlocked and uncovered? I can only hope. If not, GoddoG, will
there be a sequel/re-write/re-mix/special/Criterion/letterbox edition(+bonus scenes, director's commentary, alternate ending, etc.) of Fever Cabin? Please?
(I mean, come on - we both KNOW that Lori's affair with Sifu isn't over yet, right?)
To GoddoG: A Big Thank You. Thanks for giving us a highly entertaining, high-quality game to play. It's an example of how AIF (any-IF, for that matter) can be done... WELL. Your beta-testers were chosen wisely (they are great AIF authors themselves!), and listened-to carefully. In a time when AIF output is in a lull, or flooded with carelessness, it's good to know that there are still
masters hard at work.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.
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