Review – The Richard Mines

This is a medium-length parser-based game set in an abandoned German facility in the post-WWII period. The material that accompanies the game provides a lot more information about the historic locations that were used as a basis for the story, but unfortunately, the player does not encounter that background within the game itself (to be fair, though, the in-game “ABOUT” command directs the player to the release notes).

[Some spoilers follow beyond this point]

The main character is not described and his motivations for entering the abandoned (and structurally unsound) facility are unclear. Maybe he just went for a walk in the woods, knocked over a tree, climbed a barbed wire fence, circumnavigated a nazi fortress, and scrambled down a collapsing entrance way into a dark underground facility for fun. On the other hand, the player is left to wonder — was this someone who fought against (or maybe for) the facility? Does the player know what’s in there, and is therefore willing to take some risks? Impossible to say.

Once in the facility, the collapsed entrance serves as a one way valve, and the player is motivated if nothing else to find a way out. That entails some exploration of the underground complex and solving of some mechanical puzzles with a classic IF flavor. I found the puzzles well-clued, and thought the bulk of the game played smoothly. There is a rudimentary hint system, but most players probably won’t need to invoke it.

Evaluation

Story: 5

Voice: 2

Play: 7

Polish: 5

Technology: 5

Preliminary Score: 4.8

Transcript: mineScript

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