In a Tomb with a Donkey -(SeedComp)-
Curiosity got the better of me. I just had to know what @dee_cooke had done with my donkey seed.
Um… Moving on…
Unavoidably, I am biased since I wrote the seed that inspired the game. However, there’s no need whatsoever to suppress any laudative exclamations I might exhort about In a Tomb with a Donkey. The obvious quality of the game can easily stand up to any bias.
After an exposition-filled introductory sequence, where commands are heavily telegraphed to keep up the tempo, our protagonist Evidence Sweet (doesn’t that have a lovely Pratchetty ring to it?) ends up locked in a tomb with, I kid you not, a donkey. In Egypt. About 3000 years ago.
While there is a whole range of IF games where finding out the backstory of the main character is the whole point, here it is but a very enjoyable side-effect of the important quest: find the way back home. Home being present-day England. Where Evidence was bumped back in time by… Nevermind. You’ll see for yourself.
A fair amount of puzzles are common sense hands-on manipulation of objects. Where it gets interesting though is the application of your set of magic spells. An increasing set, as you explore the tomb and uncover more enchantments for more diverse tasks.
Now, having control over a diverse collection of spells invites unlimited free experimentation. (Hands up: who wants to see a donkey floating in the air, wide-eyed and baffled? I thought so.) A postcomp version would benefit greatly from granting Evidence more freedom to enchant just about everything in sight (or at least take the opportunity to explain at humorous length why it shouldn’t be attempted.)
The tone of the writing is very interesting. It seems on the surface that the narrator is invested in telling a serious account of the events, combining an exciting story with a detailed and efficient record of the surroundings and the items there-in.
Then why does it feel as if there is a muffled subcutaneous chuckle just below? As if the narrator is reaching out and pulling the player in on a joke. “Oh what marvelous sillines we get into…”
The map is small, but bursting to the brim with stuff to investigate and examine, oftentimes with several layers of implementation.
When Evidence Sweet starts her exploration, just three rooms are available. Expanding the map through hard-won magical adventure-work is a real source of pride for the player.
The level of difficulty was just right for me, maybe even a bit on the easy side. This means that I could experience the thrill of victory while never feeling held back from advancing the story.
I simply loved it.