Sunday, November 11, 2012


Random Thought: "Other rabbits, I come in peace!"

This was a somewhat interesting game, that I think had a great deal of potential, but lost me fairly quickly. I'm going to list a lot of criticisms of this game, but that's only because I enjoyed it and these tweaks would have improved the gameplay so much that I feel it's worth it to switch to criticism mode, whereas most of my posts attempt to focus on what I enjoyed about the game.

First of all, I was dropped into an alien world, but then the creatures and the settings didn't feel very alien. The creatures were described as alien versions of familiar Earth animals, but then reverted to just calling them by their Earth equivalent. The result was me just defaulting to the Earth animal description mentally. Then the scenery itself wasn't terribly alien - marshes, meadows, canyons, rivers. They all felt too familiar. Sure there was the strange Mother Tree, but other than that the flora and fauna didn't feel foreign enough, and as such it felt like a woodland creature adventure with some space slapped on top.

And then the world was so incredibly open and unhinted, that there were so many possible solutions it was impossible for the player to narrow the puzzle down to one specific action. When it turned out that the solution was becoming a bodysnatcher, I was too dismayed to continue. I can think of several ways to have solved the problem of height without being reduced to killing other creatures. SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THE PARAGRAPH. My initial thought was to lure a deer to the Wrecked Shuttle with the psychedelic leaves, and then climb the tripped-out deer to hit the button. My other thought was to just throw a fish at the button. I really was not pleased with the puzzle of killing creatures just to appropriate their bodies, and I feel as though that might have been nice to have that as an alternate solution.

One final thing was that I didn't seem terribly upset to have become a creature, and I had no hints on how or why I should become a bodysnatcher. My character could have used some hints, some direction, some motivation, some desires. It felt a little strange to make me as a player supply them all.

But the writing and mechanics were really tight. And I enjoyed the mechanics of the wandering fox and the other creatures, especially when forming a psychic connection with them. I really enjoyed the descriptions of the lush scenery.

I didn't get far enough to finish this game either within the 2 hour limit, but I found it interesting, and had some really good mechanics. With a little bit of extra work, this could have topped the Comp.


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