Review: Bane of the Builders

(An enjoyable run-of-the-mill SF adventure. No more, no less. Bane of the Builders - Details (ifdb.org))

Rescue the professor!

Some SF short stories can leave you numb and exhilarated at the same time as the repercussions of the twenty- or thirty-something pages you just read reverberate in your head. I’ll just namedrop the first three that pop into my reverberating head to show off a bit: Hawksbill Station by Robert Silverberg, Nightfall by Isaac Asimoc, Second Variety by Philip K. Dick.

Now stop to think for a moment. I can’t be sure about anyone else, but I must have read hundreds of SF short stories that were less awe-inspiring, brain-shaking or mind-shattering. Less memorable each on its own perhaps, but all of them added up to a pile of more vague or diluted memories of enjoyable evenings and chilling nights and exciting afternoons spent with my nose in this or that SF-collection. Taken together, those less memorable stories have undeniably given me many more pleasant hours than the aforementioned three and their likes.

Bane of the Builders falls squarely in that second category.

It’s a competently written and coded adventure. An engaging, if not very original, storyline.

It has a very cool trick where the surroundings shimmer and then things change all around you. (Reminiscent of a glitch in that movie that couldn’t decide if it wanted to do magical kung-fu or just shoot everything to smithereens and then proceeded to do both… Not that anything like that happens in Bane of the Builders after the shimmer effect, but… I just got carried away a bit there, okay.)

I had fun finding my way through the maze. The map is easily visualized, the impression of the alien base hanging in an underground cavern still lingers in my imagination.

The puzzles are not clued well enough, but persistence pays off (or the walkthrough, if you just want to experience the story.)

The end game is challenging but also a bit underclued. I had to fill in some blanks with my own imagination to get a coherent picture of why things did or didn’t work.

But, all in all, a well crafted game and a well told story. One to put on the slowly growing pile of enjoyable afternoons playing a SF game while it rained outside.

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I don’t reply always to your reviews. I write now to congratulate you for your good and continue work. I like your reviews very much becouse any review opens a vast new world for me.

  • Jade.
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Thank you Jade!