Review – A Walk In The Park

A walk In The Park has a very schizophrenic feel to it — parts of the game are implemented in impressive depth, but the playing area feels arbitrarily circumscribed and the flow of play is unusually narrow, requiring some specific but not necessarily intuitive choices. The imbalance between narrative importance and degree of implementation gives me the feeling that this game might have been more an exercise in learning Inform 6.

[Some spoilers follow beyond this point]

In the game, the main character is a passenger on a city bus that collides with a horse and buggy. Afterwards, the player can leave the bus and walk around, but there is no sense of urgency or purpose in doing so. It is not clear where the player was going or which direction to go to continue to the journey. The location isn’t mentioned, but New York City would work well, with tourist buggy rides, city buses and Central Park.

I couldn’t get far into the main character’s head. There are some hints of backstory provided by a letter from his father, and I have a general sense of being antisocial and awkward, but no sense of what, if anything, motivates this character.

The game was released in diagnostic mode, so debug commands are available to the player. Was this intentional? In my experience, the game did not play correctly when I followed the walkthrough, so I looked at the game structure a bit and realized that there were some parts of the game that I hadn’t yet hit. I managed to find most of them, but had to use debug commands to get to some.


Story: 2. The various bits of the story do not really tie together.

Voice: 4. The language is stylized, but not necessarily rational or easy to follow.

Play: 4.

Polish: 7. Good marks on the mechanics of writing: spelling, grammar, etc., but not story structure or play testing.

Technical: 5.

JNSQ: 0.

Preliminary Score: 4.4


Transcript: park

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