cobaltnine: interactive fiction 2008 descriptive icon (comp 2008)
[personal profile] cobaltnine
Bender is a z-code game by Colleen Boye.

The game starts with some extra stuff going on at the top - a map! A map that laggily changes as you move! And no instructions on how to use it.

The mini-map works OK - a bit slow, but interesting - and wasn't credited? correctly in the about (the line reads 'The minimap is ). Help isn't implemented, and those really should be in a game with unique commands.

Eventually, though, I see what's happening here - there's some interesting ideas, although I'm pretty bored of the '-bending' thing that's in these days. I guess it's some anime thing. I don't really know. Without knowing more, I think it's tricky - there's a few directions the world-building part of this mechanic can go, and it could be seen as homage or rip-off or boring, and that's something that would be discovered only in a fuller game, if the world-building does get fleshed out.

Puzzle-wise, the intro puzzle did have me restart several times; it became obvious, eventually, that there was really only one right way to do the puzzle because of the time-limit imposed by the NPC's actions. That being said, given a little more lead, it's a good short intro to the mechanics, one that should happen after 'TYPE 'ABOUT' FOR SPECIAL COMMANDS IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME PLAYING.'

Other than that, some general stuff - the POV switch is not delineated and confused me when I got out of a car that wasn't the one I had just gotten into. The narrator at one point checks her GPS but I can't look at it.

So in the end I think I'd like to see more of it, but I'm wary that something like this might be plagued with the trickiness of balancing gameplay and puzzle mechanics with plot.
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