As I explained in a previous post, I want to write these comments on the form of advice to the author; not as reviews that end with a numerical mark.
What is good?
- The implementation is clean, bug free, responsive. This makes the play experience smooth and pleasurable.
- There are some good hints within the game, and I always had a clear goal.
- What did the author want to accomplish with this game? The story is trivial; by itself, it cannot keep us interested. Other things that might pique our interest are mostly absent.
- I suspect that the author wrote a game that taps into his own nostalgia, since it features people and locations based on those he knew as a child. But for us outsiders, such nostalgia is absent. The setting, the characters and the story are bland if they do not come pre-infused with meaning; consequently, the game is rather boring to play. I fear that this piece was a lot of fun to make, but that this fun doesn't translate well to others.
Maybe. My main complaint cannot be addressed through anything less than a complete revision, and I'm not sure that is a good idea. I would advise the author to take a more player-centric approach for his next game, and make the leading design question: What will keep the player interested in my game?
Such a question can have many answers (the unfolding of a gripping story, solving devious puzzles, having to make difficult choices, interacting with interesting NPCs, and so on); but it should have at least one clear answer that informs design at every step.
The author certainly has enough technical and writing competence to make a good game, so if he follows this advice, I eagerly await his next work.