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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Quiet Evening At Home – A Review

Well, frankly after reviewing four games, I’m placing my bets that we’re already past the slump. Actually the first two games were pretty good! And after the last debacle, I predict smooth sailing from here on out. So what’s up for today? Why it’s “A Quiet Evening At Home” by… well… I don’t know. Someone! But I like the title. It sort of reminds me of the title of this blog. I like Quiet Evenings At Home. Put on a bit of music. Snuggle up with a good book or a puzzle. Eat your own weight in cheese and crackers, am I right ladies?

Or maybe that’s just me.

Note: Be warned that the following review will be spoiler-ific. Proceed with caution.

Final Verdict: If you’ve always wanted to play a game where you were forced to do tedious house-hold chores by yourself, then this is the game for you!

So this game is a very good example why, when programming with Inform, it behooves an author to use extensions like Implicit Actions by Eric Eve. You have to do everything in this game, step by step and this not only gets annoying, but this kind of stuff is proved pretty ridiculous right at the beginning of the game.

You start out having just gotten home from work and… well, to put it delicately… you’ve gotta piss like a race horse. But you first need to find your key (which is in your back pack). Then once you have your key in hand, you first have to unlock the door (the game will ask you what you want to unlock the door with, in case, I don’t know, you want to unlock the door with your back pack). Then you have to open the door. Then you have to navigate your way around the somewhat confusing confines of your house to find the restroom. And if you don’t make it in time? Well, too bad! You wind up wetting yourself and that’s the end of the game.

Pound cake: Food of the Gods, I tells ya.
Last week the office I work at gave me a pound cake for my birthday because I LOVE pound cake. And let-me-tell-you, I ate a lot of it. I ate more pound cake that afternoon than a reasonable person has any right eating in a year. Well, everything was fine for the rest of the day, and I had a performance in Colorado that night. I was waiting in the wings to go on stage as the director was finishing his opening announcement address to the audience when suddenly the pound cake I had eaten five hours before suddenly let it be known that while it had had a fun go at it, it wanted off the ride. And it wanted off Now.

But there was no time. I had thirty seconds before I had to go on stage and once there, I was stuck for the first thirty-five minutes of the play, having to recite lines and emote all the while Desperately Holding It In. I was told later by a kind old lady that I displayed an unusual amount of focus. I thanked her, but refrained from telling her that throughout that entire time I was focused on one word, and that word was “CLENCH”.

So I know what it’s like to have to use the rest room badly. I also know what it’s like being stuck somewhere and having a very legitimate reason not to be able to go. However, I do not know what it’s like to desperately need to use the toilet in my own home and stumbling around like a mad person unable to find it.

This game coulda been better beta tested, is what I’m saying.

Of course it’s not really a game. I mean there are a few things you’re supposed to do, like making it to the rest room in time or feeding yourself or taking out the garbage, but these tasks (except for the beginning one) don’t have a time limit and are pretty easy to accomplish. Then you’re stuck waiting around with nothing to do until the game finally lets you go to sleep at which point the game is over.

So it’s not really much of a story either. I still don’t know much about my protagonist besides the fact that he/she has a weak bladder, owns a hamster, and needs to go to the store and buy some more groceries and dishes. (seriously. There’s only one can of soup in the entire kitchen. Oh, and a bowl. I couldn’t find silverware so I’m figuring I wound up tipping the bowl into my mouth like a kid drinking the remnants of milk from her cereal)

Honestly the game feels very much like someone who’s decided to learn how to program in Inform and decided that his first project would be to replicate his home. And that’s it. There’s no story. ThePublish Postre’s no characters (unless you count the hamster in his hamster ball, which could have been cute had it been given more interesting descriptions). The paragraphs also have an annoying habit of not being capitalized at the beginning.

So over all, meh. Not much of a challenge and not very interesting. I’ll take a Quiet Evening at MY Home over this home, any time. I give it a three.

1 comment:

  1. I liked your pound cake story more than I liked this game.