Home About Me

DELRON

The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction

Greek School Adventure Reviews
Author: Dan McCurdy
Date: 2007
ADRIFT 4.0


Reviewed by revgiblet

After prompting and prodding from other forum members I've decided to post a review of Greek School Adventure, a recent new download on the site.

Greek School Adventure casts the player as a seminary student at Columbia Theological School tasked with the noble quest of attempting to pass their Greek class. It's the author's first game and he has clearly taken more care than most new authors. This is good.

In some ways I'm the ideal audience for this game. As a (currently ex) minister myself I will be one of the few people who might stand a chance of getting the 'in-jokes' mentioned by the author. The Baptist ministerial training process in the UK is clearly different from the Presbyterian US system, but who cares. It's all the same right? Except I managed to get all the way through my training without taking any Greek classes. All this aside, I'm the perfect person to play Greek School Adventure. No, really. I am.

I ran into problems right away with the game. The player begins in a darkened room and so begins the "switch the light on" puzzle. Except "switch the light on" doesn't work. Neither does "turn light on". However, "turn on light" does. I didn't need to turn the light on at first though, as the author didn't disable 'auto-complete' so I was able to raid the contents of my room by typing letters and seeing what nouns were automatically completed for me. That is exactly why I always disable 'auto-complete'.

Having got dressed, brushed my teeth (which is good for holiness apparently), picked up and read the note that had been slid under my door and wondered out of the room I was at a loss what to do next. So I ambled around the seminary for a while just looking at stuff until I got totally stumped and quit the game.

The map is apparently an attempt at realistically modelling the seminary site, and that's to be commended, but it creates a sense of aimlessness (my spell-check tells me that that is an actual word). As a sandbox playground it's a fine piece of work. As a game I found myself lacking direction. This wasn't helped by the lack of coherent conversation that the NPCs offered.

By far the most traumatic moment for me came when I found a copy of John Calvin's 'Institutes of the Christian Religion' and wasn't able to read it. Or take it. Or interact with it at all. I'm still shuddering just thinking about it.

On the plus side, the writing was of above average quality and I got the definite sense that there was an enjoyable game hiding there somewhere. Maybe it's my sympathies with the environment that the author has tried to create, but I had a good time wondering around and exploring every nook and cranny. However, one can only go on for so long without a sense of purpose.

All in all, as a first game Greek School Adventure shows plenty of promise and humour. I think that in this case 'less is more' and if Dan can provide a smaller map, more focus and fix up some of the bugs then he'll have written one of the best 'first-time-author' games that I've played in a long time. I'll await an updated version.
 


Reviewed by ParadoxGames

I did not feel like I was part of the world presented in the adventure.

The game begins in the dark, but you are seated in a desk. "You can't see a blessed thing", the game tells you when you look at almost anything. Strangely, you can see your desk, where you are seated. Most everything in the room can't be interacted with. Most commands return, "Paul gives you a look over, then resumes his searching." I don't know who Paul is, he isn't seen. I managed to turn on my computer and open my backpack. I can't remove anything from the backpack or grab any object or do any other verbs with anything. I try to turn on the coffee maker, and get the message, "The coffee maker can't be turned off or on!" The game seems to boil down to a "guess the verb" exercise, although I'm failing. I can't turn on the lamp on the desk and the computer's light doesn't change your situation.

Eventually, I manage to turn the lamp on with a command that failed several times before, and get a new message, followed by the message about how dark it is. I look at the room anyway, and behold, it is bright!

I can explore the room. I can't wear anything because I can't pick up the clothes in the dresser. I can't go south or west, the two exits, even though the door is open and nothing seems to be blocking it. I can't solve anything because most of the objects act like they're not there. Lazy coding. Just that message about Paul. It's more frustrating than it is challenging. If I could interact with my world around me, maybe I'd not quit after after hundreds of turns, only earning 5 points out of 275 (1/55th of the total score).
 


Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.

 

Any donation would be much appreciated to help keep the site online and growing.
To help make your donation quicker and easier just click the "Donate" button and you
will be taken to the secure Paypal donation page.
    Home  |  About Me