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Witness: Demon vs Vampire Reviews

Author: Robert Street
Date: 2007

Reviewed by Eric Mayer

Comments: OK. So, how lame of a player am I, to need hints for a game made in three hours? On the other hand, how does an author manage to include hints in a game composed so quickly? Or contrive enough puzzles to require hints? (Well, obviously, the game is compact, but well thought out without much wasted implementation or writing) Yes, there are actually multiple things to do in this game, and everything works, even if I am dense. Sounds like it might be an introduction to a longer game too.

Reviewed by James Webb a.k.a. Revgiblet:

Comments: Robert's got a bit of ADRIFT experience and this shows right away. There are only two locations in this game, fewer than any of the other entries, and this works in his favour. He's able to pack more detail and game mechanics into the smaller play area and this game is a lot more polished because of it. The fact that, out of the four games, I spent the least amount of time playing this is actually a good thing. It shows good design and that the difficulty was pitched at the right level.

The only thing that frustrated me was the 'draw pentagram' command. I tried it in the main room and was told that I couldn't do it. There were no clues telling me that I was trying the right thing but simply in the wrong location. I had to check the hints just to make sure that I was on the right lines when a simple "You can't do that in this room" error message would have saved me feeling liked I'd cheated unnecessarily (I hate feeling like that). Still, that's a bit of nit-picking really, and you could blame me for giving up too early if you wanted. I also found the central concept of a demon fighting a vampire a little bit cheesy; a bit "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" if you like. But then I found out that I was actually a zombie victim of the vampire. That was pretty cool.

Having hints was great. You don't have time in a three-hour-comp to include clever clues (though this game had the clearest indications of what I should be doing) in your writing so a few hints really helped, though the game was well designed enough for me not to need them (except for the pentagram stuff I mentioned above). Also, another game that isn't password locked so I can take a quick look and make sure that I didn't miss anything. I gave this a '7' which makes it my favourite of the comp.

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.

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