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Shadowpeak Reviews

Author: Kevin Bailey
Date: 2008

Reviewed by Lumin (Version 1 of the game)

This game was just uploaded so I guess not many have had a chance to play it. It's from an author I don't recognize from the forums (kevin bailey?) and apparently he originally began writing it on the c64.

I only had time to mess around with it for about ten minutes so I'm a long way from winning, but I just wanted to post my initial impressions and see what everybody else's are.

1.) This appears to be one of those hugely ambitious newbie projects that have become kind of a joke here, except this one was actually finished, weighing in at a whopping 90k. (though I guess 'finished' and 'beatable' aren't necessarily the same thing...the Generator's locked and there's no walkthrough so whether it's horribly broken or not is anybody's guess.) But either way, the kind of perseverance it must have taken to get something this size to even a semi-playable state is laudable.

2.) oh God the spelling and punctuation is atrocious and the intro reads like something written by an excitable yet talented 12 year old. Also for some reason the text is HUGE.

3.) This game is the definition of old school. I've already died a handful of times, had an item stolen by some jerk monster, and got trapped in a tomb (presumably because I either didn't have an item I needed, an important object was not described, the verb needed was simply too obscure, or all of the above). I don't know if the author has played a text game since the early 90s. I strongly suspect he's never heard of the Player's Bill of Rights. I haven't run into a maze yet but I'd be willing to bet money there's one in it somewhere.

4.) I love it already...I've never pegged myself as a masochist but there you go.

Or I guess to be more accurate, I love what it wants to be. No one writes sprawling completely un-ironic fantasy adventures about knights defeating evil wizards anymore and that is a crying shame. Right now Shadowpeak might be very very very rough around the edges but I'm positive that if it were polished up it would be a diamond.

Am I insane?

I think I'm going to wait till I get to play a bit more and then send the author an email with a few suggestions. Hopefully he's open to constructive criticism because after all the work he's put into this game I'd like to see it in a state where more people would be willing to give it a fair chance...flaws aside if this really is a first effort it's jaw-droppingly good, and as far as I'm concerned anyone who can write a game this ambitious without giving up in tears before they get halfway through is a keeper.

If nothing else I might be able to convince him to let me help with the spelling and punctuation problems. I actually love editing people's work.

Huh, maybe I am a masochist....

Anyway, if this had just been another one of those games I wouldn't have bothered bringing it up in the first place. This one is different and that's what interests me. After I played for about two minutes in it was clear that this wasn't just another case of a clueless newbie bashing on a keyboard for five minutes, uploading the results and calling it a game; in this situation the author clearly put a lot of work into the game as a whole, but for some reason simply didn't realize/didn't care about horrible spelling, punctuation, etc. and probably has no idea it's such a deal-breaker for most of the community.

I know this may come as shock to you guys, and I don't like it either, but there are plenty of other people* (some who post on this very forum) that don't care about that stuff either, so I highly doubt Shadowpeak is some kind of elaborate prank or deliberate attack on the integrity of interactive fiction or whatever.

I used to read a lot of bad fanfic so I guess it's possible that my brain might have developed more more advanced filters for this sort of thing than most of you have in order to defend itself, but I still say that there's an interesting and unique game in there somewhere. It's the style of it that attracts me more than anything else; as I said, no one writes like this anymore. It's like the author is oblivious to anything written in the last 15 years or so, and after wading through certain IFComp entries and a thread on RAIF I have to say it's refreshing to see something that's not trying to be anything other than a text adventure in the purest sense...to me, whether or not the sloppy presentation proves to be insurmountable hindrance to enjoyment is almost besides the point.

Reviewed by Duncan Bowman (Version 1 of the game) - Duncan has since removed this review from the main ADRIFT website.

Perhaps I'm just being too serious, but the words "flabbergastingly abyssmal" come to mind.  This game is practically unplayable.  I was excited at the prospect of playing a new game (especially after the success of the OddComp), but I hadn't even finished reading the intro and I was convinced the Adventures Page had been prank'd.

This is a game in *serious* need of some proofreading.  An audience can only go so far into any sloppy text-- regardless of format-- before putting it down.  Why should I wait to see if something really pops off page 200 when I've already gouged by eyes out at page 1 (presumably, someone would have to read the rest to me...)?  I'm still waiting for this "Kevin Bailey" (if that is his real name) to show his face and let us know how this thing came about.

In all seriousness, submitting work *this* bogged down in errors is just disrespectful of a writer to their work, audience, format, community, etc.  I'd be all for a polished version of the game, but this is just ridiculous... not to mention, with the default filter being "by date (most recent)", *this* is now the game a newcomer will see first when they come onto the Adventures Page... and may be the first they download...


Reviewed by Denk

In this game you play the role as Loralang, a famed knight, which has to travel back in time and retrieve the golden sceptre and kill the undead lord, Morac.

So much for the story. The game is oldschool and is a combination of puzzles, a bit of random combat and unfortunately also random deaths. I haven't completed the game, but from what I have seen so far, there are some decent puzzles. The random combat I have seen was far too easy, so it was quite pointless.

Even though I like oldschool games, random combat and don't care too much about the Player's Bill of Rights, I feel this game could have been a lot better if it weren't for the very common random deaths caused by the dragon. It is practically impossible to avoid it for long and according to the built-in hints, the only thing you can do is to avoid the dragon. So even though I came across some decent puzzles, I find it hard to recommend this game.

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