| About Me
The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction
Wes Garden's Halting Nightmare Reviews
Reviewed by Lumin
This game. This freaking game. While Iím glad Jubellís going to get his free
copy of Adrift and all, he really should have saved it for the Summer
Comp...unregistered limitations and all, I think it still wouldíve given some of
us more experienced Drifters a run for our money. I loved everything about this.
Well, okay, I admit thought the whole íSoul Scytheí things sounded like
something out of a cheesy action game, but everything else--the intro and the
writing, the genuinely creepy rooms and mindscrew plot, and of course the
amazing art and music, just blew me away. I even loved that I still had no idea
what was going on at the end. Usually thatís something that would annoy me a
little, but here itís a strength...I was SO glad it didnít all wrap up neatly
with a pat íbut it was alllll in his headí or whatever ending.
The limitations of the unregistered version did show up in a few cases, (mostly
when I was getting drawn into a trippy room description but not being able to
examine something that seemed prominent) so Iím really hoping that in addition
to a sequel, the author might be able to go back and flesh this one out a little
once theyíve got their shiny new full version. And though this oneís more a
matter of personal taste, it also seemed like there was a lot of plot
railroading, long cutscenes and such popping up every couple of minutes. Though
once again, even though itís something I donít always care for, in this case I
might call it a good thing because it allowed so much plot and content to be
crammed in despite the limits and made the game seem a lot larger than it
actually is. (I noticed you made good use of conversation topics as well, which
is also a good trick in this kind of situation.)
The one and only thing I would have to say I definitely didnít care for were the
combat aspects - the fact is I simply hate hate hate Adriftís default combat
system and have never seen it used in a good way. I found it yanked me out of
the story here too, and finally after being killed half a dozen times in the
first fight (my own hits never seeming to do any damage) I got frustrated and
changed the opponentís stats in the generator, which let me move past that part
but may or may not have caused a bigger problem later.
For the second fight, I got the message saying I was being attacked, but nothing
happened (I was alone in the room) and since I couldnít trigger the end of the
fight I wasnít able to progress any further after that. I canít say with any
kind of confidence that it was a bug, because thereís a good chance I broke
something with my meddling earlier, but even if it was, the game up until that
point was amazing enough to more than make up for it. Happily I was able to sort
of experience the last few scenes by following along with the walkthrough and
the generator anyway, and the ending did not disappoint. Really, really, REALLY
looking forward to whatever this author decides to write next.
Reviewed by Lumin (2)
Maybe I'm just a sucker for mindscrew plots and hand drawn art and ominous music
in an IF game. Made with the unregistered version of ADRIFT 4 (which severely
restricted the number of objects, locations, etc.) and by a first time author to
boot, I was absolutely not expecting this to be as entertaining and well made as
This game contains some really nice
writing, the intro draws you right in, and there is just so much trippy, surreal
imagery here that I'm not sure how a previous reviewer arrived at a comparison
to 'an episode of Buffy'. Just about every location is so unsettling,
disjointed, and...well, nightmarish, as the title implies, that I was literally
half expecting a cop out 'but it was aaaaalll just a dream' at any point. As it
is, nothing seemed fully explained, but there is a lot of
plot to sort through and the ending points at a sequel.
I did run into a problem with a segment that made use of the much-maligned
ADRIFT combat system, definitely the weakest point of the game and a disruption
to the pacing that took me out of the story (and cost the author a star), but in
the end I still can't help but love this game for all the things it does right
and how unique it is, and if Jubell really is working on a sequel, I'll be the
first in line to play it.
Sadly, Wes Garden's Halting Nightmare demonstrates the low quality that ADRIFT
games are known for. I didn't start out thinking that; I was convinced of that
as the game progressed.
Reviewed by AmberShards
To be sure, it starts out interestingly enough, but half-way through the
introduction, at the juncture between grandeur and mundanity, WGHN takes the
tried and true path into the lands of everyday horror. The main character is a
stock and unreal cypher (really, a teenaged male is not affected by a stunningly
attractive female doctor?), and then the game requires the use of adverbs to
play. Uggghhhhh. Examine isn't enough; no, you must CLOSELY EXAMINE. Then the
grammar goes south and you become aware of the overuse and misuse of ellipses.
It feels like the game is self-destructing before your very eyes.
Next, the plot takes a pagan turn and your task suddenly becomes a mission to
reunite Grecian deities (apparently they don't have the power to find one
another, despite being gods). Right around here, you become aware of the
plot-on-rails nature of the game.
The game trudges on, introducing you to a nearly pornographic candy striper
named Hope -- with stereotypical Southern charms. (Yes, Southern women are hawt,
but can't you be a little bit more creative in communicating their appeal?). To
move the plot forward, you get to play "guess the question".
Then, everything hits the fan. It turns out that the only way to play this game
is to play it under Windows, because the SCARE clones don't implement combat and
guess what this game has? Yup, combat. Even using Wine won't help -- at least it
didn't help me.
From what I could see, WGHN ended up feeling like a Buffy episode. In fact,
that's probably the best way to describe the game; as Buffy was goth light with
stereotyped characters, that's what WGHN is.
Reviewed by Duncan_Bowsman
Wes Garden's Halting Nightmare is an interesting game with, if I recall, some
surrealistic neo-pagan themes on identity, and its own "eye candy" graphical
style (although it is clearly not AIF). Might not be everyone's cup o' Joe. Some
of the interaction in the game is a little difficult or obscure at points, but
for a first game I thought it was a stellar effort.
Perhaps I'm a little biased, as I did provide some assistance in beta-testing.
Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their
|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.