Review – Shadow In The Snow

I was a little put off by the blurb: a dark picture, horror genre, described as bloody. An awkward choice to follow Stuff of Legend, like orange juice after mint toothpaste.

Structurally, this is a short Twine piece with two main forks that can merge, several possible endings. Its format encourages reply, which after a couple passes allows the player to get a picture of what is going on and figure out how to reach the most successful ending.

The story goes a good job of creating atmosphere, but there is little time for character development. The text is well edited, and my only minor gripe is that for a brief bit it lapses out of present and into past tense.

The horror aspect shouldn’t be that off-putting, yes there is blood and such, but nothing you haven’t seen on a monster -of-the-week episode of Supernatural.

Review – Stuff of Legend

This parser-based story channels some of flavor of Buster Hudson’s Wizard Sniffer, although it is a smaller, faster game with about a dozen locations and one central puzzle. The game has a nice rhythm of lighthearted banter, internal thoughts, and appropriately painful puns. Overall, it is well written and edited. While the game is not huge, everything is deeply implemented and the author (and likely testers) should be credited for supplying customized responses for most things the player might try.

The game employs a menu-based conversation mechanic that in a couple places updates based on plot developments. I would have liked to have seen more of this but that would not really have fit with the games duration. The blurb says two hours, but I completed it in about an hour.

The central puzzle is well-designed and adequately hinted, the only snag for me was my own fault for perseverating too long on a solution that was not working. There is a second puzzle at the end of the game that I found more difficult. The basis for that puzzle was a natural extension of the experience in the story, but I will admit that I had to look at the hints to complete that portion of the game.

The author has made an effort to make the game playable, with the inclusion of background material, and a built-in hint system that progressively reveals clues to try to avoid spoilers.