IFComp 2007: The Immortal   Leave a comment

Review after the jump.

Somehow you realize that they appear to be out of sync with your time. It doesn’t seem like you can talk to them, and you’re not sure whether they are slightly ahead or behind your time. As you are looking at the shadows you see another shape materialize in their midst. You’re not what it actually is, but this new being seems to take notice of you. Like a spirit, it drifts slowly toward you. You do feel menaced by the spirt as it approaches.

The Immortal is ostensibly science fiction, but this game epitomizes the genre of vague. There’s lots of shadows and spirits and souls and I get the distinct impression the author was making up the world universe as he went. Why the vague introduction? Why the amnesia? It’s possible to successfully paint a world setting of blurry lines, but the vagueness needs contrast. In The Immortal I felt like I was sliding through jello without enacting any real sort of plot.

This is made worse by a shoddy implementation and an obscure required action early on which (if missed) makes the game unwinnable. The plot idea isn’t irredeemable, but it’s the preface to a story that would be cut out by the editor once the entire story was finished. (This sort of thing happens all the time; in the manuscript form of The Waste Land the entire first page was crossed out by the author. However, crossing out pages is easier on the psyche than tossing out reams of code.)

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Posted November 14, 2007 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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