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The Magicianís Niece Reviews

Author: Hensman Int'l
Date: 2009
ADRIFT 4.0


Reviewed by James Webb (as revgiblet)

Dan Blasquez wrote 'A Witch's Tale', which was my favourite of the Odd Comp.  'The Magician's Niece' reminded me of 'A Witch's Tale' and not just because it's a piece of Rowling-esque IF about a teenage magic user.  It was because there was something charming about it.  I like charming.  Although I am obviously a big fan of 'mature' IF (and I mean 'mature' rather than 'adult', a genre which can end up quite childish) I am also very pleased to see well-written 'old-school' fantasy and classic adventures turn-up.  'TMN' appears to fit into this mould - though I suppose that a three-room intro is too soon to pass final judgment.  After all, I cannot categorically say that there will be no strip-clubs featuring further into the adventure.

However, this fell a little short of charm for me, simply because there were implementation troubles and guess the verb mayhem.  After finally figuring out the command to teleport to my uncle's place, I was told that I still needed to do something else.  The only thing that seemed to be missing was that the game had told me to research some of my spells - something I couldn't figure out how to do.  Whenever I read my PDA and tried to find out more about some of the spells I had available then I was told that these were details absent from a three-room demo.  The command 'index' didn't work, even though the game told me that it would.  Little things like this meant that I couldn't really get too far into the game.

The spell menu and system did look interesting.  I would look forward to whizzing around, casting spells here and there - as far as my 'Magic' level allowed.  If it was well-implemented and gave you a degree of freedom (allowing multiple solutions to puzzles for example, rather than simply functioning as a key/lock dynamic that forbids you from using spells in the wrong place for no good reason) then it would be the sort of thing that tickled my fancy.

OK, the bottom line is this.  I didn't find the story as engaging as 'A Witch's Tale' and the trouble I had navigating my way around the game put me off a bit, but this has as much potential as most of the games in this comp - perhaps a little more than most due to the intriguing magic system.  It's just a shame that it's a bit rough around the edges.




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