Considering the game first came out three and a half years ago, I thought that the days of new reviews were over. Then earlier this evening I was sent a link to a great review over at Alternative Magazine Online.
While the score of 7.5 out of 10 was a pleasure to see, what I liked most about the review was it showed the reviewer – Marty Mulrooney – actually got what I was trying to do with the game. It was a pleasure to read.
For instance, there’s one bit where he says:
“there are also various strange orange creatures called smoos dotted round. I found these guys hilariously deadpan and their names all being so similar never got old for me either: Stu, Pru, Hugh, Lou… all eighteen of these guys were just priceless, giving me a giggle every time I spoke to them.”
Which is exactly what they were designed for and I’m always pleased when people take pleasure from interacting with my characters.
Another bit I liked was:
“There is also that old-school sense of exploration when you gain access to a new area that a lot of modern games nowadays lack.”
However, I don’t think this is because I’m doing something better than modern games, but that many games are so over-hyped that when we play them there is nothing new to discover when exploring them. Also, some games tend to have such a similar look throughout that finding a new area isn’t the great revelation it might have been when playing games of ten or fifteen years ago.
The review does raise a number of small criticisms, but they are completely fair and very constructive, which is all any of us can hope for during a review.
It was this bit, though, that pleased me the most:
“The characters and the world have their limitations, so Mr Ince wisely plays upon their strengths instead. Some small niggles may hold it back from from excellence but you will always be having a blast and smiling regardless. As a whole package, the game delivers even if the experience isn’t revolutionary.”
This idea of always having a blast and smiling is exactly what I was aiming for. Yes, there are things I would improve on or do differently if I were to do it again, but the general idea of having fun throughout was what drove the ideas and the design. I had a lot of fun creating the game and clearly for Marty Mulrooney that fun came through in the playing.