Ballymun Adventure by Brendan Cribb (TADS)
Well, it’s certainly gaudy. The instructions are in blue text on a yellow background (my eyes are still throwing a wobbly over it) and there are horrid bits of coloured text interspersed within the main body of the text. Room descriptions and objects are green, exits are blue – it’s quite nauseous.
But what about the game? Apparently it’s set in a school and you have to find four items because your teacher, Mr Byrne, has set you a competition. So off you traipse to find said items.
Playing the game for a few minutes doesn’t give me anything favourable to say about it. I head east into the girls yard and see this wonderful description:
YOU ARE STANDING IN THE GIRLS YARD. THERE IS NOTHING OF INTEREST FOR YOU HERE. YOU SHOULD GO BACK.
As room descriptions go, this one isn’t up to much.
Upon returning to the first location, the same text as before – Mr Byrne telling me he wants some items finding – is still displayed on screen. It seems Mr Byrne likes repeating himself. I did try to ask him about this at one point but the game informs me that it doesn’t know the word “byrne”, which is kind of disappointing considering he’s the first NPC I encountered. I can’t examine him either. Nor, in fact, can I examine hardly anything. The school assembly hall is described as being full of students but X STUDENTS hits me with I DON’T SEE ANY STUDENTS HERE. Even worse, X HALL reveals that I DON’T SEE ANY HALL HERE.
Aside from strange errors like the ones mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are oddities like examining the library door (one of the few things I found that can be examined), being told it’s closed and then walking through it without any indication of opening it. Then there’s the bizarre description of Miss Campbell: THE DOOR IS CLOSED. Yes, that’s what she looks like. Poor Miss Campbell. Talking to her is even worse: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO TALK TO THE MISS CAMPBELL’S DOOR…
Okay, it’s probably pretty obvious I didn’t much care for this game and didn’t see any reason to keep on playing it. It’s been through minimal testing at best and has a huge number of errors that even a casual amount of testing should have picked up on.
2 out of 10