The following text contains my review of Press [escape] to save .
OK, I said to myself before I started that I would give each game at least a fair shot of 15 minutes. I did with this one, but it took a lot of willpower.
Firstly, the grammar and punctuation is terrible. Random unnecessary commas abound (“just in case, a not so probable opportunity arises” is typical). “You are going to hang tomorrow”. Hang what? A picture on my wall. I do wonder if the author is a non-native English user, or just forgot to reread what (s)he wrote. Oh, and we don’t indent paragraphs in IF.
In terms of the writing style and tone, it was far too “street” for my liking. The author used “man” an awful lot, which really did jar against the setting – you’re about to be hanged for crying out loud! You should be feeling sombre, or scared, or something. It’s the writing’s job to evoke that mood, and it just doesn’t here. At all. Oh, and the conversation was terrible. Really bad.
Implementation is also a problem. There are loads of spurious line breaks (even 4 at one point), and a lot of the time there are huge swathes of one-sentence paragraphs, which really do grate. And, at least at the beginning, you have to do a lot of just waiting for action to happen. For instance, once you’ve turned the light on (by typing “feel wall”? Huh?) you have to wait 5 turns until the man wakes up and you can actually do anything. Then you have to wait again for him to go to sleep so you can, and the game can set off.
And as for the plot, one moment you’re about to be hanged, and the next moment you’re running off in 4D space, trying to access some knowledge pool for a ghostly figure. It’s very bizarre, and completely sudden.
So, in all, I really can’t find anything good to say about it, other than it could have been quite good. The idea of being on the eve one’s death is very interesting, and could have been powerful. This game, however, did it no justice whatsoever. Score: 3.