Sunday, November 11, 2012

Escape from Summerland

This was really just a fantastic concept and storyline - I loved switching in between the three protagonists and viewing the world through each of their eyes. The different descriptions took awhile to get used to - especially sifting through the robot's output, but I really enjoyed having the solid voice for each character, and the ghost mechanic was great for cutting through any confusion. My favorite writing mechanic hands-down was the inclusion of monkey smiley faces for the descriptions of each event, it was incredibly endearing.

But something of this scope obviously involves a lot of descriptions, a lot of rules, and a lot of programming to make sure that it all fit together seamlessly. And that's where I ran into problems - it was a very buggy game, descriptions were sometimes delivered with the wrong voice, and I got stuck twice on what were obviously bugs dealing with the service elevator. And after restarting and replaying the game, getting stuck on the elevator again (this time in a different place), killed all the time that I had for judging this game.

This was a project that - if it had been held back a year - would have easily sailed into first place in the competition. In fact, once I had gotten accustomed to the controls, I was ready to call this one the winner. Even after I got stuck the first time, I asked my husband to play co-op with me (we like to play adventure games "together"). But then the bugs held us back, and I admit that this just wasn't making the cut. I still rate this game very highly, because it went out and accomplished something incredibly enjoyable, novel and technically interesting.


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