Posted 21 November 2005 to rec.games.int-fiction
[little spoilers ahead, and big English mistakes...]
There is a big difference between the results of the IFComp and the Miss Congeniality Contest: "The Plague (redux)" is 22 or 3! Why?
Here is my point of view. I didn't vote (since I can't probably judge something written in English, even if "Blue chairs" was my favorite last year; I didn't try "Earth and Sky" because it was not high enough in my random list), but when I tried "The Plague (redux)", the prologue catched me like no other game before. Even if the plot is in the "list of cliches to avoid" posted during the voting, the interest is that the woman (and me neither) doesn't know what is going on : something horrible is happening, but what?... With the past tense and the first person, it looks like a testimony (as if it really happened, and maybe it did).
Because of this first impression, I made the unusual effort to play without reading the walkthrough, during three sessions (three days). I didn't finish the game, and the story didn't evolve much after the prologue. Anyway I though this game was great: prologue, writing, character.
So what happened (not to London's underground, to the game) ?
- many players missed the prologue and focused on the main part (maybe not so rewarding)?
- people used the wrong interpreter? (I love Gargoyle's look, but many Glulx or Adrift games can't be played with it ; unfortunately, Gargoyle manages to be chosen by Windows to open Glulx or Adrift files, for example).
Anyway, thanks to the people who created the "Miss Congeniality Contest". Without it I would be wondering if I dreamed when I tried this game.
This article copyright © 2005, Jl