The Origin of Madame Time

The London IF Meetup played this yesterday. We’d already completed Alias ‘The Magpie’, Bogeyman, and Ostrich, all of which were written by London Meetup members. But since the last two games were a bit dark, the group wanted a lighthearted chaser, so we picked this game as a more cheerful change of pace. And that worked out well!

We had only about 45 minutes available to play, since we were at the end of our scheduled time in the venue, and wound up rushing to finish — which was perhaps appropriate in a game with this theme — but we did manage to get all the way through and win. The puzzles were not too difficult, and the size was compact enough that it was possible for group members to keep track of what was going on even in a group-play setting.

(This is more a play report than a proper review, I know, but since the author wasn’t there to see us play, I thought I’d share.)

Oct 7
The Origin of Madame Time @ifcomp - Time has stopped, you have not. Explore the tableaux of superhero battles (like dramatic panels in a comic book?) and perhaps you can avert the catastrophe that is set to occur one second later!

I haven’t played The Owl Consults, which I believe is a prequel of sorts, so perhaps am not the best-placed person to review this, but I’ll try.

I’m a superhero called Madame Time. My real name is going to be a hideous chronology-based pun, isn’t it? x self…

…Well, it could be worse. A bit.

Somewhat solution-spoilery review:

[spoiler]I was braced for this to be a fiendish puzzler, especially since one of the people I must rescue can turn anyone reversibly into gold, which led me to reckon that I’d simply have to leave some of the superheroes out in the open, in statue form, and then restore them to life after the explosion. In fact, it turns out that there are few problems in life that are insoluble with the aid of gigantism, lycanthropy, and a lead-lined room in which to stow people. My main problem was being too slow of wit to realise that you can climb time-frozen debris like stairs. Thank goodness for Madame Time’s power of Foresight, which was very helpful here. ‘Aftersight’ was, I imagine, giving glimpses of the preceding game, which I will now put into my to-play list.

A confessional gripe…if I’m big enough to carry a bunch of superheroes around like phone charms, I’m pretty sure I must also be too big to fit down a standard-sized hatchway. But using the shrinking potion every time I was going to stow yet another superhero/villain in my lead-lined underground fastness would have driven both the author and the player round the bend. I’ll give that one a pass. Yep.

As with pretty much every superpeople thing, some of the villains seem to have powers that are both excellent and less morally problematic than common hero powers like mind-reading. Tell me, Team Hero and Team Villain, what are your powers:

Wonder Brothers: Great group selfies.
The Chef: Omniphagal mania.
The Alchemist: Don’t noise it around, but…I’m a basic potion witch. ‘Alchemist’ just sounded cooler.
Golden Girl: Oh yeah? Well, I actually can safely and reversibly turn anything or anyone into gold.
Lupor the Wolf Man: Oh yeah? Well, I can safely and reversibly turn anyone into a wolf. I also do parties.

I spent quite a lot of time trying to work out if I could save Rex Dashing, or any of the other people presumably crewing his nuclear airship, by shifting time to somewhat before the explosion. Looks like poor Rex is SOL, unless there is something about Madame Time’s ‘Fore’ and ‘After’ powers that I’m missing (but on reading the handy walkthrough, it appears not).

The map was very well thought-out for the suggested play time of an hour. I could keep it in my head, which was great since I’m no mindmapping prodigy. The ‘what happened after’ section on completing the game was amusing, and I hope things work out well for the assorted heroes and (possibly-reformed) villains.[/spoiler]

Prize: A hard-to-refuse invitation to join an esoteric gambling society.

I’ve posted a review (of sorts) of the game at my blog here.