Beam by Madrone Eddy (Quest)

Room descriptions are painfully brief – YOU ARE ON A GRASS HILL UNDER A TREE – was the first one in the game. The second wasn’t much better – YOU ARE IN THE LOWER BRANCHES OF THE TREE. LOOKING OUT YOU SEE A SORT OF HAZY REFLECTION. Exits aren’t mentioned in the room description, but instead displayed in the panel on the right hand side of the screen, so if you’re one of those few people who occasionally play Quest games and turn the panels off because you don’t like them, you won’t have a clue where you can go.

It’s a difficult game to make any kind of progress with, although my initial lack of enthusiasm, which took a hit by reading the poorly written intro and never really recovered, didn’t help. As a game, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. You wake up under a tree having fallen asleep and find you can’t actually go anywhere because every time you try you keep bumping into invisible objects. What…? So you climb the tree – only CLIMB TREE doesn’t work (another of the many, many basic commands Quest doesn’t understand) – and find yourself in the location with the hazy reflection. What to do then is anyone’s guess. There are hints but none of them helped much as they all referred to different parts and there was no walkthrough available that I could find. I couldn’t get to more than a total of three locations, I didn’t have any items, I couldn’t find much to do that didn’t result in Quest hitting me with its ever-present I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOUR COMMAND. TYPE HELP FOR A LIST OF VALID COMMANDS* and, in the end, quitting seemed like an acceptable thing to do.

  • Which it does with a frequency that makes you wonder just how many commands Quest does understand.

On the positive side of things, there were very, very few typos which is worth mentioning because it makes this game almost unique among Quest games. But as that’s the only positive thing I could find to say about it, it’s still not a good game.

2 out of 10

While I was searching for “IFComp 2006” reviews, I found a heated argument between you and a Quest author, on the Quest forums. Is this the same author?

No. Completely different person as far as I know. The guy I was arguing with is some stressed teen who thinks the whole world is out to get him and continually acts all macho to try and impress people. Watch out for him if you’re entering the IFComp next year, though. Apparently he’s gonna to win ‘cos his game’s so much better than all the other crap out there an’ everyone who disses him is gonna eat crow when he wins.


Always good for a laugh the Quest forum is, providing you don’t go there expecting any kind of Quest discussion.