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Asteroid Aftermath Reviews

Author: Duncan Bowsman
Date: 2008


Reviewed by Abbi Park

1. What was your initial impression of the game, when you first opened it up, and how did the game compare?
Nice intro screen.  I'm not too into SciFi, so I wasn't sure I'd like it, but it seemed, and was, well-written.

2. How did the author do within the restrictions?
Very well.  Neatly and cleanly done.  It even took me a minute, after playing, to think of how the majority of the objects were used, because they fit right in!

3. How were the puzzles and/or storyline?
Well, I personally don't like combination-lock-type puzzles because I'm very bad at solving them, but there were hints to use after I got tired of trying things and couldn't figure it out from the effects I saw (I still don't know if it was arbitrary or logical)...  So, heh, it was okay.  The before and after stories were good, though they weren't very involved with the actual gameplay since I was left alone to figure things out.  Regardless, the storyline left me thinking "interesting".

4. What did you like best about the game?
I really liked the way the responses to the switchboard command displayed like a loading screen.  Nice touch.  (I didn't like having to wait the few seconds each time for it to finish before I could begin typing the next command, but I guess that's only natural when dealing with loading screens, huh?)

5. What did you like least about the game, and how could this be fixed?
Um... waiting for the "loading screens" to finish each and every time got old very quickly.  Perhaps they could be sped up and thus be less annoying by using smaller tenths of a second.

6. What stood out most to you from/about this game?
The loading screens.  How could they not?  I also appreciated the way the events were used to affect the switchboard.

7. How did this game compare with the others in the competition and/or what set it apart?
The smoothest, I think.  Ran without a hitch.

Any other comments?
Ha ha.  The characters were used as satellites!  That's great.
I wished I could have used numerals instead of first, second, etc.  That would be simple to set up using synonyms.


Reviewed by revgiblet

What?  What's going on?  Huh?

AWARD:  The "Most Technically Impressive" Award

Asteroid Aftermath is another brain-teaser, and like Business as Usual there's something highly impressive about such a concept being squeezed into the limitations of the game.  Asteroid Aftermath was the game that impressed me most in terms of its technical credentials.  I wouldn't really know even where to start to code an entry like this.

I enjoyed the clever details in this game, such as making the 'rooms' function as cameras and the depth of thought that had gone into the switchboard.  The plot reveal at the end was a nice reward for the work that you had to put in to solving the game, though it was nothing more than a hint at something interesting.

However, despite all these polished touches I didn't really enjoy the 'trial and error' nature of the game play - particularly when you get little guidance as to what effect your actions are having.  Flicking switches and then moving through rooms examining the satellites to see which ones are in the right place is hard work if puzzle adventures aren't really your cup of tea.  Essentially that is what this game is all about, and throw in a timer that resets your switches and some commands that can only be tried if other commands have been done in the right order and you'll get an idea of what this game consists of.  It's a very tricky puzzle.  If you get a kick out of such things then I suspect that this'll be your favourite of the competition.

I feel a little bad that I didn't enjoy this entry more.  As I have already said, it was obvious that a lot of work had gone into the game and it was a very impressive entry.  However, although this is clearly a more accomplished game than Gorxungula's Curse, I enjoyed the silly rabbit adventure more.  It's just unfortunate that I'm such a one-dimensional character and don't really appreciate how clever a game like this really is.


Reviewed by Dan Blazquez

First impression: Um, what? This is one of those games that makes me feel very very small and insignificant. A technical masterpiece? A puzzling migraine? I'd say both. The game starts of well, with a basic yet enlightening introduction. The objective is clearly laid out for the player, and the game does a great job of describing what you have to do and how you must go about doing it. Not only that, the game comes with a robust hint system that makes it easy for drooling retards like myself to conquer. So the author took all the proper steps to guide players through this game, an effort which I fully appreciate.

Unfortunately, this game is nothing except one large and complicated puzzle involving cameras and satellites and switchboards. While at first I promised myself NOT to open the generator or use the hints, I quickly realized how stupid I was and forced myself to use both hints and generator spying to finish.

The problems boil down to personal preference... really it's not the games fault. In fact, the game is technical wizardry at its finest - incredibly clever use of restrictions combine to make a gestalt. The problem is me. I didn't enjoy this game nearly as much as Gorxungula's Curse (the author's other entry) because it felt lifeless, just an excuse to wrap a bright idea around the generator. And I hate puzzles (at least complex mind-bogglers such as this). Interesting ending, although I expected my computer to start violently ejecting gold coins for solving such an abstract puzzle. That would have been a much better ending, and judging by Duncan's technical prowess with ADRIFT, I'm sure he could've programmed it had he been given just two more tasks to work with. Haha!

Objectively, the game is perfect I suppose. Subjectively, I'd rather get a root canal. Duncan gets a cookie for making the other competition games look like sculptures chiseled by cavemen with rubber mallets.... in comparison Asteroid Aftermath is liquid smooth and fine-tuned to perfection. I only wish my mental faculties could cope with something like this - I would've greatly enjoyed this had my masochist vein been pumping.

Between this, Gorxungula's Curse, and Virtual Human, I'm going to say that Duncan is an innovative drifter with enough good ideas to put most of us to shame should he makes a full sized adventure. Looking forward to your next weirdly brilliant game, Duncan!


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