Saturday, October 04, 2008

IFComp '08 Reviews: Recess at Last

In this filler space I intend to show how space can be filled by typing a sufficient length of characters that will not spoil any part of the game I will be reviewing later. This will be done by filling writing in the style of an school essay, typing even more after that, and finally by obfuscating the rest of the post after the Read more! link below. In conclusion, I have wasted space by typing a lot and it has helped people to avoid being spoiled by padding out the RSS feed that gets included on Planet-IF.

Short version: A very polished, charming work, but studiously neutral.
Score: 6

I honestly do not have a lot to say about this one. The author, Gerald Aungst, clearly put a lot of care into it, from an attractive title screen to clever formatting and dialogue through-out. At its heart, I guess "Recess at Last" is essentially a puzzle piece with no larger ambitions, beyond perhaps a touch of nostalgia.

All the details (such as finding your backpack in the coat-room) were surprisingly spot-on, so I'm guessing Mr. Aungst is either a parent or remembers childhood exceptionally well. The writing was very competent, and I found no bugs to speak of, but I did not play it very thoroughly. It just is not a genre that grabs me, and I did not find any interesting or surprising viewpoints on childhood. Even so, the extremely solid presentation merits a fairly high score. It is not unpleasant in any way to play, and someone who likes this sort of thing would like this one probably quite a lot.


Anonymous said...

Merk here. I'm surprised at the higher scores I'm seeing for this game. I found it buggy, unpolished, and in many ways unplayable without hints or the walkthrough. Usually my experience lines up pretty nicely with everybody else's, but this game seems to be the oddball.

And am I the only person who had to suffer through an engine error message before every single prompt through almost the entire game??? :(

Aric said...

Sorry for the extremely delayed response. Now that the competition is over it's pretty clear that I fell behind and could not catch up with reviews. This is mainly due to unexpected computer issues and work throwing a wrench in my personal life.

In retrospect, given the distance and still having only played the games I have reviewed, I was a bit too kind. I think though that I was comparing it to the previous four games I had played (only counting CyberCow in as far as the terp I was using would not even let me play it!), and was looking for any kind of quality. In short, I was looking for something to like by the time I got to Recess.