Review: The Snowman   1 comment

The Snowman was second place in the Text the Halls competition. My review is down below.

The Snowman looks like a huge, humanoid, murderous snow creature. He has a small, inexpressive face that makes you think he wants to kill you. And guess what? He pretty much does.

The excerpt quoted above says everything you need to know about the plot setup.

The structural motif here is non-linearity. Rather than setting up a discrete set of puzzles, the author has placed in some characters and items and let things run loose. Most interesting is that the author nearly achieves emergent gameplay, and because of this the game is worth a look.

Unfortunately, while the structure is wide-open descriptions are given minimal attention

>x table
A cooking table. How AMAZING! I may just submit it to Digg.

or laden with in-jokes

You are in what seems to be some kind of restaurant. There are many gentlemen sitting around tables; some are eating, some are using laptops, all are rocking the TIGS. A hyperlink south leads back to other websites.

to such an extent I am hesitant to recommend this to a general audience. In a text game, the prose is everything in the presentation; any poor writing will get in the way of understanding. Minimalist presentation can work (see Suveh Nux) but it must be applied with great care, lest the environment be confusing.

Still, there have been very few attempts at emergent IF (The Hobbit is still the only true one I know of), so those interested the possibility should give The Snowman a try.

Posted January 5, 2008 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

One response to “Review: The Snowman

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  1. I think The Snowman is the most Text the Hallsy of the entrants. I get the impression there was a desire on the part of the TIGSource community for fun, irreverent games – and this definitely has that in spades.

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