IFComp 2014: Krypteia   Leave a comment

You are cold with terror. How could you have been so stupid as to think you could handle this quest? Your breath freezes in your chest… and something else slips in. A seeping, grey mist that first fills you up, then starts oozing out through your pores, covering you completely. Your fear sharpens itself into acute awareness, holding you absolutely still, all senses alert. The monsters are there, there and… a gap! You flow along your escape route, noiseless as smoke.

Krypteia by Kateria clearly had a great deal of love put into it. There’s some fantastic shifting images, a hand-drawn automap, and some solid bits of prose. Alas —


— this sort of text happens with regularity. Is this readable to you? I had to use the “highlight with mouse” trick on occasions.

The more serious issue, though: The gameplay is miserable dull. You wander around a forest and in each location you can “check for danger” and “check for treasures”. There is no point in skipping clicking these things so it’s mechanical. In some places you find items, and those items increase “Wolf” and “Shadow”, roughly corresponding with RPG-stats of attack and stealth. Some rooms require using those stats, and if they are high enough you have to go back a room and search around some more or mess with your equipment. The gameplay wasn’t unobtrusive enough to consider it just to be an excuse to get at the story; hence it was a constant irritant.

I’m not even sure how to improve it. The traditional thing to do would be have combats with strategy and experience growth and so forth, but that doesn’t seem appropriate here.


Just … argh. Look at that. It is lush. Everything was like that. The “fiction” was good. The “interactive” was lacking.

Posted October 12, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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