Amanda's Springy Thingy Reviews

I Am Prey by @inventor200

This is Joey’s first game, and it’s been awesome to watch its progression on the forum. There’s a “Survival Guide” which you should definitely read before playing. I admit my eyes got a little wide on reading it, because it is long and there are many non-standard actions and rules and I thought I might be lost while playing. But the game starts off gently enough, allowing you some time to get used to its format.

I picked “Prey Tutorial Mode” to play in, and probably so should you unless you tweak immediately to all the special commands. The set-up is TOTALLY AWESOME, and I don’t want to say anything about it so you’ll come to it without preconceptions. But it’s a hell of a good sci-fi/horror raison d’être.

The game is all about exploring to find hidden objects. The map is large, and there’s a MAP command that shows you available exits. You’re running from a predator, hoping to find the objects before the predator finds you, and there are lots of ways you can give your location away, but also defensive actions you can take to escape if you are caught. The amount of coding under the hood keeping track of closed/open doors, and where you’ve been, must be staggering-- this is an extremely Designed game and I was floored by the amount of work it must have been to implement everything.

I know, because the author said so, that this game was not as well-tested as it should have been, but it plays really smoothly and I didn’t encounter any major problems, and only a handful of very minor ones. It feels about as well-implemented as the majority of well-tested games in Comps.

“I Am Prey” is obviously made for maximum replayability, which is something I don’t normally do, but I may very well pick this one up and try again after I get through more ST games. I got killed after a few tours through the huge complex and finding 3 objects (about 45-60 minutes of play), and I hadn’t explored any Parkour routes, or tried many of the defensive commands on offer. I really enjoyed making my map, zinging around the map looking for stuff, and the genuine pressure of feeling hunted while I roamed. But I definitely didn’t experience all this game has to offer on my first play through.

I recommend this highly-- it’s got the feel of a first-person video game while being a parser game, and that’s quite an achievement. If you like large maps, cat-and-mouse setups, and treasure hunting while under the gun, this game is absolutely for you. Great job, Joey!!!

What bird is it? It’s a shrike. Not a large or showy bird, but implacably violent and deadly as it impales its prey on the nearest sharp object and then sings over it.