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Author: The Dominant Species (Mr. TDS)
Reviewed by James Webb (as revgiblet)
TDS can write good IF. He's bona-fide. The man has a pedigree. The beginning of the game is well-written, in fact that's the theme of this game. Well-writing. I mean, good-writing. The writing is probably not only the best I've seen in this comp, but possibly the best I've ever seen from TDS. The noir feel is convincing; the unsympathetic protagonist and his (possibly) paranoid delusions interesting; I can almost forgive him for including a scene using the default ADRIFT battle system. Almost.
Thankfully, the battle scene is non-compulsory but I still don't like its inclusion. Is it possible to win? I don't know. I'm just glad that TDS game me something else to try or he would have lost me before it started to get interesting.
It is interesting, but like some of the other entries suffers due to the limitations of the competition. It doesn't do *quite* enough to grab me totally. I'm intrigued and curious, but not desperate to see what happens next. I also think that it might lose points in the eyes of some for not being enough 'game' and being too much 'text dump'. Now I don't mind this at all - which shouldn't surprise those of you who have tinkered with any of my games. Text dumps get a bad rap. Of course it's 'Interactive Fiction'! I'm asking you to press 'Enter' to see the next page of text, aren't I?
Enough of this diversion. I would rather read a couple of pages of good writing with a little bit of interaction than play a badly-implemented and story-light puzzler. I think that the strength of this effort is the good writing, though I'd have to play more to see if - as a game - it holds my attention. As it stands, and bearing in mind the goals of the competition, 'Donuts' is probably my personal pick of the bunch.
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