The Immortal by Rob Anthony

This one was certainly bizarre. It’s one of those games that don’t seem to make any sense whatsoever and you just blindly wander around solving puzzles because they’re there to be solved, often without any real indication of why you’re doing these things. But while I usually find myself hating these kinds of games, this one wasn’t too bad. In fact, if not for the bugs it might have been a fairly decent game.

But the bugs. Oh dear. There were a lot of them and probably indicate that the only tester this game saw was the same person who wrote it. The worst offenders I found were:

  • Using the purple glyph stone causes a book to appear on the desk. That’s what the text reads anyway. This happens whether you’re in the same location as the desk or not. I happened to use the stone in a different location and was a little bewildered afterwards when I couldn’t see either a book or the desk. Surely the stone should only be usable in the same location as the desk? Or at least the text shouldn’t mention the player able to see this happen if it happens somewhere else.

  • Using the opaque glyph stone is similarly bugged. By the look of things, it’s intended to be used in one location and one location only, yet it’s possible to use it anywhere in the game. However, the game assumes you’re using it in the correct location and if you happen to be using it somewhere else (as I was), the text displayed is misleading.

  • The large bag in the room with the hobgoblins. This was seriously bugged. You’re supposed to use a certain item to turn invisible and then examine the bag, but it’s possible to take the bag out of the room without the hobgoblins doing anything. However, if you then examine it far away from them, you’re still informed that they awake and kill you in the same room you found it in. I carried the bag several locations away and tested this and, sure enough, the hobgoblins still killed me even though they couldn’t see me at the time.

  • In another location, I used an item and triggered an event and was told that another hobgoblin was there… even though he had left the scene a while ago.

  • It’s spelt “dais”, not “dias”.

There were other problems as well. The game couldn’t seem to decide whether it was a serious game or a comedy. Most of the time it was serious, but silly little comments made their way into it at various times. Whether this was just meant as black humour or light relief I don’t know, but it spoiled the mood every time it happened.

Strangely, though, despite the many problems with the game I found I didn’t actually dislike it. I didn’t know what was going on, found the bugs frustrating, was even more annoyed when the walkthrough got me killed (that might be a problem on my behalf admittedly, though if I deviated from the walkthrough, I can’t see where this was from my transcript), yet all in all I thought it wasn’t a bad game. But I’m definitely knocking a point off for the bugs – when you get killed by non-existent enemies several times in a row, it’s hard to keep smiling.

5 out of 10