Review – 8 Shoes on the Shelves

This is a short parser game that did not make a lot of sense to me. It is set, presumably, in World War I, although it mentions a partially disassembled radio, which would have been unusual field kit in WWI (a wired telegraph in trenches okay, but probably not a wireless set). Also, there is an aluminum desk, which would not have been found in that era — metal desks of the period would have been steel.

[Some spoilers follow beyond this point]

There isn’t much in this story in terms of puzzle elements — the first part is little more than figuring out how to brush off some materials and stand up. Maybe the real puzzle is what is going on here? The plot can be described as: the main character finds a bomb and throws it in a pit.

How does the protagonist recognize the bomb (which is very unbomb-like and can be picked up, dropped, and attacked with impunity)? How does he know to throw it in the pit (especially when the word “pit” is mentioned nowhere but the walkthrough)? What is going on with crossing the bridge and ending up in a “liminal space”? Why does the main character have falsified papers and a strange wrist-watch? What did we kill in the pit? Why eight pairs of mismatched shoes?

Let me propose a story that fits the facts as we have encountered them. A soul-devouring alien with a foot-fetish lands in Belgium during the Great War and takes up residence in an underground bunker. Somehow, this alters the timeline. In response, the Temporal Constabulary teleports a tachyonic phase-neutrino bomb (and an aluminum desk) to the past, but the bomb requires activation by one of their agents. Conveniently, one is already in the period operating under an assumed identity. Throwing the bomb into the pit traps the alien forever and restores the timeline. On the bright side: footwear monster destroyed; less optimally, the time agent failed to avert two World Wars and Donald Trump.

I would be happy if even 10% of that were what the author had in mind when he wrote this.

Evaluation

Story: 3

Voice: 3

Play: 4

Polish: 6

Technical: 5

JNSQ: 0

Preliminary Score: 4.2

Transcript: 8shoesXcrpt

 

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