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The Stowaway Reviews
Author: Benjamin Samuel
Reviewed by Eric Mayer
Comments: Don't know whether this had me shivering in me timbers exactly, but the nautical setting was certainly interesting and atmospheric and enhanced by the font. I'm not so sure that fancy fonts work for longer games but in a small dose, such as this, I liked it. Like the font, some of the language was eccentric. The whole thing felt a little odd, which is a plus. The story was unusual, both for a ghost story and for an If game. And everything seemed to work. A good effort.
Reviewed by James Webb a.k.a. Revgiblet
Comments: I liked this idea immediately - 'ghostly stowaway on a ship' has a lot of potential. Like Seciden's entry there was some good writing and I thought it worked well.
I found that there were too many parser problems here though. Although the first time you see the ghostly kid he's described as a 'boy' you can never use the word 'boy' as a synonym for 'kid'. You've always got to examine or interact with the 'kid'. Furthermore, there are too few clues as to how to get the good ending. The commands that you need to use are pretty obscure and exact (I had no idea what to do until the captain yelled at me to 'catch the kid' and then I found that the game wanted 'catch kid' as the exact command). I thought this game couldn't be completed because there were no clues that you had to use the kid as a shield. I wasn't aware of this until I looked at the game code.
On the plus side again, Benjamin didn't lock the game which is a good idea for comp games like this. Although there were too few clues for me to finish the game it *does* work and as a result I give this game a '4'. Again, I'd like to see what Benjamin can do with a good idea (like this one) and no time limit.
Reviewed by Ren Rennington:
Comments: I completed this, so, hurrah. It is perhaps the slightest game, but I didn't find any obvious bugs (aside from some confusion about drawing), and the writing was never less than competent.
Reviewed by J. J. Guest
Comments: I played this game last because the title led me to expect a combat oriented game, which I loathe, but this little game is nothing of the sort. With just two rooms this game is the smallest in the comp, but it is also one of the better implemented, as one would expect from an experienced 'drifter like Street. I was a little stumped at one point, because I was trying the right actions in the wrong room, but once I had that figured out the game was pretty much in the bag. My one quibble is that though the focus of the game is supposed to be the battle between a demon and a vampire, this titanic struggle is described in a single line of prose, and prosaic prose at that: "The demon and vampire are fighting." Buffy it ain't! I think that, given the small size of the game, a little more time could have been spent sprucing up the battle with random events. All in all, a solid effort from an accomplished author.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.
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