Polendina by Christopher Lewis (Inform)

So EXAMINE and SEARCH mean different things? Damn, I hate games that do that to me. You EXAMINE every item, find a few things, then later on realise you have to go back through the game and SEARCH every item. +1 on the Considering Quitting Table.

Another +1 on the CQT: I’ve been playing the game for ten minutes and don’t have a clue what it’s about. Most of the actions I’m carrying out I’m doing not because I see any point to them, but purely because there’s nothing else to do, so it’s a case of me going into the playground then the pet shop because they’re there instead of me seeing any purpose in performing these actions.

There’s an oddity uncovered while I was walking through the sewers* and the ring I was wearing mysteriously appeared before me on the ground without me ever removing it. I never did discover if this was purposeful or a bug. According to the walkthrough (which I followed because it seemed better clued into the game than I was), there ought to be my dad’s ID card here** but it wasn’t here at all. Just the ring I had on my finger. Quite why my dad’s ID card would be down in the sewers isn’t mentioned in the walkthrough, although glancing further on indicates I need it to enter my dad’s workshop. Only, of course, as the ID card wasn’t there, I can’t do that.

  • Why was I in the sewers? Er… dunno. Because it’s there?

** Is there a reason for my dad’s ID card to be down in the sewers? Particularly as I found it at home and left it there?

Well… uninspired game, no clue what I was doing, bugged me with SEARCH and EXAMINE being different things, and a distinct lack of direction. All in all, not one of the better IFComp entries.

3 out of 10

I believe your dad’s ID card gets into the sewers because somewhat earlier in the game you are supposed to have flushed it down the toilet.

This is something I only gleaned from studying the walkthrough, because it doesn’t correspond to the behavior of real ID cards and toilets I have known. (Even if you managed to get it to flush, wouldn’t it likely get caught in one of the plumbing bends and never make it to the sewer at all? Not to mention that I don’t think I’d want to retrieve ID from a river of raw sewage. Mercifully, the game doesn’t really describe that aspect.)

Speaking from experience, I would say it is possible for an id card to end up in a sewer.

Did no one else try repeatedly to open the white door in the starting room? I thought that was brilliant.

Hey… Rioshin… you around? Is there an updated to this UBB beta version? I’d love to see italics start working. :slight_smile:

Oh dear.

I thought it was really annoying. Justified later, yeah, but at the time I mostly resented being yelled at by this game designer, who otherwise hadn’t impressed me with his competence yet.

Someone else mentioned that to me but it seemed like one of those puzzles that no one is ever going to figure out without the walkthrough to guide them. Seriously, is anyone ever going to flush an ID card down the toilet just on the off chance that it’ll show up in the sewers later on?

Reminds me a bit of Neon Nirvana from the IFComp 2005 which that this as a puzzle:

Psychic powers are definitely a requirement when playing some of the IFComp games.

I didn’t think Polendina was that difficult. Since you can’t get the id card out of the door (which definitly is a hint that something’s wrong) you have to get it out of the house another way. If I remember correctly, you lose the ring in the toilet at the beginning. When I found it later in the sewer, it was clear where things from the toilet go. So it may be a bit illogical, but is hinted well enough, I think.

You are right that there is no clear goal in the beginning, but there are some hints (like the door) that gave me the feeling of a mystery I had to discover.

Overall, I really liked the game.