A game of exploration and comma usage. The PC’s family moves into a house they inherit after a wealthy, eccentric uncle—a community college English professor seemingly obsessed with proper grammar—passes away. The player is tasked with discovering some of the mystery of the house.
The first part of the game concerns collecting twelve items (there’s a score to chart this progress). Most of these can be found just by examining anything notable, or maybe doing a small errand. Once the items are collected, the player must apply comma rules to solve a series of puzzles. I did not find the ending puzzle that difficult, but I did not get it right the first time. However, I was pretty positive I just had two items wrong and could easily swap them. If anyone is unsure about 4 or more examples of correct and incorrect comma usage, the puzzles may be considered very difficult. There is a primer on comma usage available, but others will have to speak on how useful they found the explanation.
The prose is pretty good and more-or-less consistent. The author apologizes for occasionally mixing some light-hearted scenarios with the darker story that unfolds. However, I honestly didn’t think this was much of a problem. Some of the light-hearted prose I came across pretty early (I almost immediately used the bathroom and tried the magic word). If a couple of these actions happened midway through the narrative, perhaps it would have seemed out of place. But by doing this very early in the game, I don’t think there was much inconsistency at all.
I’d say the plot unfolds very well. As expected in IF of this type, there’s the drip-drip-drip of more information as the puzzles are solved. It was able to keep me interested in the story until the conclusion. Perhaps the only aspect of this game I found disappointing was the ending. It is very brief, and some things are left unanswered (at least, so it seemed to me). As the player gets the last required item, we come to the gate of Hades, we find an underground crypt filled with bones, but unfortunately the final end-game revelation gives no further details about the strange house and this portal to hell. I cannot say what would have made a more satisfying ending, but learning some additional information about your uncle or the house seems like it would have been fitting. Adding something to the ending may be able to prevent this feeling of anticlimax.
The game took me somewhere between 90 minutes to 2 hours. It kept me entertained throughout. Despite what I saw as a slightly anticlimactic ending, I had a lot of fun on the journey.
I look forward to reading reviews of this game to see how people feel about the comma usage puzzles. I wish the writer the best of luck.
As I wrote this review, was listening to : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HANDyugAXmY