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The Monster in the Mirror Reviews
Reviewed by Robert Rafgon (Reviews
Exchange Issue 4)
The Monster in the Mirror 1 throws you immediately into a strange place, with almost no background as to why you are there, apart from that you have awoken suddenly from your sleep. This is a very surreal game, which never does give many answers about why these events are occurring, but this does not really matter.
There are two strange environments to experience before you return home for the last section of the game. These places successfully evoke a dreamlike atmosphere with strange descriptions. The technique of the game taking place within a dream actually works in hiding some of the inconsistencies of IF, especially in the need for puzzles. In a dream, the unusualness of everything being a puzzle can become usual, unlike in real life. Having unusual actions being required actually can add to the atmosphere. However, it can also add to the frustration, when the game sometimes becomes a little obscure. It is a difficult balance to maintain and the game does not always succeed.
One problem that I had when playing the game is that it hides necessary objects in unobvious places. Whilst playing the game you have to make sure to look at every single place or object mentioned in the description, as occasionally something you think would have a mundane description is hiding something important. The worst offender is in the second section where the object you need to look at is only implied by your location, and not actually listed. At least not that I could find. In the endgame sequence I was also stuck for a while, as I couldn't find a furniture item from the description. I eventually realised that it was only referred to within the game by a shortened version of its name. When I was standing around doing nothing, as I could not figure out what else to do, the puzzle lost its urgency because nothing else was occurring.
The Monster in the Mirror 1 does not take long to play through, apart from when you are stuck trying to figure out which object you have missed looking at and searching through. It is generally fairly obvious what you need to find though, even if it is difficult to locate. Apart from these few very frustrating points, the game is enjoyable to play.
Score - 4/10
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