Review: Basilica de Sangre

(I’ve been drawn by this game’s title for months now. Seeing another Bitter Karella game in Spring Thing reminded me to finally play it. Very satisfying. Basilica de Sangre - Details (

Funny Demonic Nunnery.

The nuns of the nigh impenetrable Nunnery of Blood have taken your mother. Against all odds and the other demons’ advice, you will infiltrate it and free your mother.

First off: a bit of tech stuff.
The adjustable interface is pretty nifty. You can toggle all of the player conveniences. Old-fashioned purist that I am, I chose to turn off the side panes (which show exits, inventory and interactive objects in the room), the auto-map (which is cool, by the way) and the keyword links (I find the blue highlighting distracting and hey, I’m playing a parser game!)
The room description-layout is very basic: first a dry list of exits, objects and characters, followed by the actual room description. Any special action taken is listed even before the exits-and-objects list, but the circumstances and consequences of that action are only described after the room. This basic (default Quest?) layout cuts up the flow of the narrative into discrete chunks.

The writing itself is very good though. It captures the locations efficiently (a dank cellar, a smelly cottage,…). The NPCs are very nicely characterized. As they are mostly means to be used for solving puzzles, the attention mostly goes to their relevant physical features, but there’s always a hint at their deeper personalities.
Overall, a playful and mischievous tone pervades the game.

Basilica de Sangre takes place on a small, condensed map, making the most of the limited number of locations and avoiding to send the player on long unnecessary walks.

The puzzles hinge on an original main mechanism. The author has struck a good balance between using this mechanism and incorporating some more traditional text-adventure puzzles to support it.
I mustn’t elaborate too much. Suffice it to say that it’s always a good idea to take note of where the NPCs are, what they are carrying and to read the (short) conversations attentively.

A very pleasant little game!