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Crashland Reviews

Author: !Rocky
Date: 2009
ADRIFT 4.0


Reviewed by Lumin

Crashland gets off to a strong start. In just a couple of lines the intro neatly gives the player what they need to know about the character and setting, and with a few small exceptions the writing keeps up to this standard throughout the entire game. (Even the proofreading was good. I didn't see any persistent spelling or punctuation mistakes and only found a handful of typos - which was kind of a disappointment because giving grammar lessons and jumping all over typos is kind of my specialty and also makes for good filler. This will probably be a short review now. )

Sparse or nonexistent descriptions are one of THE most common problems with first-time games, but that's not the case here at all. Even with the relatively small map, there's a lot of fun to be had just wandering around looking at things--a few lines had me chuckling, and even lowly scenery objects were not ignored. (I kind of got a sense the author has a thing for architecture? And maybe French musicians?)

Unfortunately, while Crashland hits it out of the park with the world-building aspects, when you get to the actual meat of the game things start to fall apart. The NPCs make cardboard cutouts look lively, and since the game's only puzzles revolve around them that aspect suffers too. Finally, after having to resort to the walkthrough to reach the ending(s), I was disappointed to find they were pretty weak too.

As promising as things looked in the beginning, it really seems like the author ran out of steam about halfway through. Of course, since this was a comp game, it may be that they just ran out of time, in which case I hope they're willing to return to this some day and release an expanded version, because I know I'd really love to play it.
 


Reviewed by DB

SCORE: 65.25% (out of 100)

Did you finish the game? Why or why not?

Yes, though I had to resort to the walkthrough after some time. Short, played through two of the three endings and moved on.

WRITING: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Content; Style: 3 (Three-Quarters' Weight)
flow / quality / quantity

Technical Aspects: 3 (Quarter-Weight)
spelling / grammar

Writing, Overall: 3 (Relevant)

Do you have any comments about the writing (flow, quantity, style, technical aspects, etc...)?

Second sentence definitely feels like it could be condensed and/or re-written… some punctuation errors… "in another wor[l]d". Writing was generally concise, especially in comparison to the other entry, though it could have cued things better. Overall, the gameworld felt fairly well-realised, though. The Latin/other language was a nice touch.


GAMEPLAY: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Puzzles: 2 (Half-Weight)
fair / interesting / etc.

Enjoyment Level: 2 (Half-Weight)
fun? gripping? etc.

Gameplay, Overall: 2 (Relevant)

Any comments about the gameplay (puzzles, enjoyment level, interest level, etc…)?

A little short… never really felt myself getting into it, but it did work. Puzzles could have used better cuing… "ask X about Y" felt alright, but definitely could have been better (how do I know what I can ask about?). Would like to have seen a hint system. Didn't know I could give the hologram of the man things using the terminal, and when I gave him the plans the only way I knew I had received more credits was by looking at my card. It would have been nice to just be told something along the lines of "You have gained X credits."


SETUP: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Completeness: 2.7 (Half-Weight)
descs / cmnds covered

Presentation: 3.5 (Half-Weight)
setup / style / graphics

Setup, Overall: 3 (Relevant)

Setup comments (descriptions, commands covered, presentation, etc…) or other comments?

See above comments.


OTHER: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Competition (If Applicable): 5 (Full Weight)
kept rules / spirit of comp

Other, Overall: 5 (Relevant)

What did you most dislike about the game, and how could this be improved?

Needs more cues, a hint system. Quite short, but likely to due restrictions. Could have used a little more development, character, resolution, etc.

What did you like best about the game?

Sci-fi other-planet IF has been beaten to death, but this still felt interesting at least.

Any other comments?

My pick for the win.
 


Reviewed by Abbi

SCORING: 69.75% (out of 100)

Did you finish the game? Why or why not?

Yes, but only with some help from the walkthroughs. What I could actually do wasn't made very clear in the game, though it made sense after the fact.

WRITING: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Content; Style: 3.5 (Three-Quarters' Weight)
flow / quality / quantity

Technical Aspects: 3.1 (Quarter-Weight)
spelling / grammar

Writing, Overall: 3.5 (Relevant)

Do you have any comments about the writing (flow, quantity, style, technical aspects, etc...)?

Pretty good overall. I'm a fan of writing being short-and-sweet as appropriate.
A couple things in particular to fix: In the civic center description, "choire" and "resebles" should be "choir" and "resembles". In the machine shop, I think it was supposed to be "world" instead of "in another word".

GAMEPLAY: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Puzzles: 2 (Half-Weight)
fair / interesting / etc.

Enjoyment Level: 3 (Half-Weight)
fun? gripping? etc.

Gameplay, Overall: 2 (Relevant)

Any comments about the gameplay (puzzles, enjoyment level, interest level, etc…)?

It would have been better to have more direction in the game… I didn't really know what to ask the characters, and at least mentioning the slot and how it could be used would have helped.
But at least once I got an idea of what to do, it seemed reasonable rather than something I would never have thought of if I'd had any more hints.

SETUP: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Completeness: 3 (Half-Weight)
descs / cmnds covered

Presentation: 4 (Half-Weight)
setup / style / graphics

Setup, Overall: 3 (Relevant)

Setup comments (descriptions, commands covered, presentation, etc…) or other comments?

For the most part, it was decent. There were some things missed, but it was mostly well done.
One thing: after completing the action in the machine shop, the first part of the room description doubles.

OTHER: Score (out of 5 each) (Weight/Relevance)

Competition (If Applicable): 5 (Full Weight)
kept rules / spirit of comp

Other, Overall: 5 (Relevant)

What did you most dislike about the game, and how could this be improved?

Lack of direction. I felt like I was missing something and would have been lost without a walkthrough, even in such a tiny town. Also, I wished the other language would have been translated a bit more. The endings felt rather sudden, but I guess that's excusable in a short game.

What did you like best about the game?

It had potential and was decently interesting.

Any other comments?

Flesh it out more and clue the player in more on what's going on, and it could be great.
This game wins in my opinion because it seems a bit more polished, and all of the endings can be reached.


 


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