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Beythilda the Night Witch
Reviewed by Maga
This is a short tale about a witch in the teenage-neopagan idiom: thus, she has a frilly faux-medieval name and a beautiful spiritual soul, and is cruelly persecuted for no reason by ignorant villagers.
It is rendered in free verse. I am all in favour of IF as poetry, except that writing good poetry is extraordinarily hard; this has some nice imagery and figures of speech ('the cauldron's full of leftovers and / the bookshelf's filled with songs') but the overall shape of it is pretty graceless. It tends to drop into tumpty-tum trochaic metre. At times it attempts rhyme (or part-rhyme), but in a half-hearted, halting rhythm. It has poor instincts for the mot juste. So, yeah, it is mostly bad poetry; and it seems to give mixed signals about whether it's intended to be campy and awful in a 7th Guest mode, or played straight. I enjoyed it much more when I started picturing it in a camp-spooky B-movie voiceover, though.
Part of the appeal of doing things as poetry, here, is that it avoids the standard IFese description style, which has a tendency to turn into a bland itemisation. In that respect, this is refreshing; for all its flaws, the game does accomplish a distinctly different atmosphere than is standard in IF. But practical concerns drag the poetry back towards listings, which it doesn't always entirely fit. (Too, it kept being interfered with by standard parser responses.)
A particularly injudicious parser response: "You are wearing nothing, and are carrying nothing." That's... positive information where negative information is required.
As far as I can tell, the game is mostly about looking around, and at some point a bunch of timed events happen, involving the villagers coming for you with torches and pitchforks. I hit a fatal bug towards the end, when trying to ride the broom; this seems to be the required action to win, so I think this renders the game unwinnable.
Reviewed by Roody_Yogurt
Iím not a big fan of rhyming games, and Iím even less so when thereís some questionable near-rhyme, which there is here. On my first playthrough, I blundered my way to near the end- judging by the walkthrough- but at that point, the command hinting seemed to be getting less obvious and I hit a wall.
I did revisit it to see if there was a >WALKTHROUGH command, which there was, so I have finished the game since. Anyhow, not bad, but it's not the kind of thing to exactly win me over, either.
Reviewed by Ned Yompus
I really like the poetry here. It's a good idea (and similar to the more complex Danse Nocturne in concept if not in scope--again, back to the whole Inform>>Adrift for speed comps) and while there's still some verb-guessing, this wouldn't have worked as a more standard text adventure. And I don't think it would've worked as a book. But it was fun as a succession of short puzzles. The walkthrough was helpful, especially since I seem to have skipped over a step.
Reviewed by HulkHandsome
The poetic prose didn't do much for me, but I liked the idea and the implementation was good for a Speed IF!
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