Stygian Dreams by Giorgos Menelaou (I couldn’t find a user name to tag the author with, so if anyone knows it, give me a shout.)
This is a back garden entry, and the author acknowledges its lack of polish in the Comp blurb. And that’s true-- it could definitely use some polish. But there’s a lot to like here regardless.
Do not play the blorb file of the game-- play the online version. I tried the downloadable game in Spatterlight, and didn’t get any images, plus there was so much scenery that was unimplemented that it was hard to know what nouns in the descriptions were important. The online version is a parser/click hybrid that highlights the important stuff so you can just click on it instead of trying to examine every noun to find the implemented one. Additionally, there’s some really cool AI-generated art in the online version.
It’s largely a walking simulator, where you move from location to location (with some difficulty as exits aren’t always listed, so you simply need to try all the cardinal directions) in a world of Greek mythology. There are no puzzles, and few actions you can take, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It is frustrating that so little of the interesting scenery is interactive, so mostly you can appreciate the description of the scene, but not the bits that make it up.
In my attempts at both the Inform version and the online version, I hit a wall after about 15 minutes where I couldn’t find anything else to do (where the statue is). It’s possible that I just hit the end of the game, but I don’t think so-- I think it just wasn’t obvious what to do next. So I wandered around the areas I had access to, trying to find new directions or objects I’d missed, but no such luck. Admittedly, I didn’t spend a long time doing this.
This is a pleasant experience with some good mythological background, but it doesn’t really seem to have a plot line, and it’s not intuitive at all what you should be doing to advance the game. I’d play through again if there was a little more direction given, or a better sense of where I can go and what my goal is. The author says on the online play page, “You don’t really need to do much” and that’s OK. But there should definitely be some rhyme or reason to what the player can/should do to complete the story. As it stands, I recommend you check it out, but don’t expect a full game with the basic parser conventions implemented.
What bird is it? You can see a bird drifting lazily on the wind high in the sky, but it’s too far away to tell exactly what it is.
That’s the last full-length parser game in Spring Thing, except for @kamineko 's Repeat the Ending, which I was a tester for. At the end of my reviews, I hope to post something about the games I tested, but you should definitely play RtE-- it’s a highly unusual game with a very cool mechanic.
On to full-length choice games.