Absence of Law - Brian Rushton

I have posted a review and transcript of Absence of Law here: blog.templaro.com/review-absence-law/

  • Jack

My review:

[spoiler]This was the first game I tried when combing through the 79 entries in this year’s prodigiously overabundant IFComp.

I finished it in one sitting.

This has got to be among the most entertaining parser games I’ve ever played. While not having the jaw-dropping scale and mind-bending plot of other games, it succeeds in giving the player a superb interface, as well as a great in-story explanation for your interactions with the parser.

This game subverts many of the tropes of parser IF, and is in itself a warm homage to its predecessors. For example, having the PC be the player (rather than as an amnesiac, or as a character surprisingly unaware who is who and what he/she does for a living), helping out the main character, was a nice touch indeed.

Like others, I found the language puzzle too hard, but the hint system allowed me to quickly get past this and move on to easier stuff.
I don’t think it’s actually possible to get stuck: as puzzle parser games go, it’s positively ‘adorable’ on the Zarfian cruelty scale: it might as well be offering you milk and cookies on a tray.

Highly recommended.[/spoiler]

I enjoyed this game a lot. There is a great variety of different kinds of puzzles, and all of them are creative, fun and very well implemented.

My favorite was the linguistic one. I liked that the operating system helped me to keep track of some things, e.g. which words indicated a command and which were used to form a question, but it did not help too much. The time-constrained clone puzzle was also fun - it added a sense of urgency, but without getting too frustrating. As for the robotics project, I somehow managed to pass through all the demo scenarios using only one of the available commands. Especially in that part of the game, but also more generally, I had the feeling that I’m missing something because the game is very forgiving. I do not tend to replay completed scenes much, so I almost wish the game had let me fail sometimes to make me try out more options (as indicated in dhakajack’s review above and also in the ‘amusing’ section at the end, there seems to be much more to discover than I found in my first playthrough).