Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I'll be the first to admit, text adventures are a wholly zombified medium of video games. But I was rather fond of Zork when I first got my hands on it a few years ago. The inherent problem of course, with any text adventure game is the inability of the designer to think of everything.

Take Santhworld for instance. It's a quasi-text adventure. The game graphics are mostly static images, but you control everything with an old-school text parser. No clicking is necessary. At one point, a section of the road up-ahead is blocked by a fallen tree. During one of the earlier iterations of this game one can, especially if they're familiar with the sort of twisted madness that passes for "logic" in some adventure games, acquire a saw not too far ahead of this. The obvious solution is "use saw on tree" to which the game promptly responds "NOPE!". Obviously an oversight on the part of the developers.

So onto the real bit here.

Santhworld. Specifically Mysteries of Nepris. I'll clear the air by saying that I'm associated with the group responsible for building the world you're traipsing through, but as my talents lie in directions decidedly opposite to game development, the most I've done is provide feedback for this particular project. A pseudonym of mine appears in the trivia section since I was responsible for some of the content there.

I haven't played it in a while, but my patience was a little... shall we say worn by the time I put it down. Mostly it's the combat. RPG-esque turn based combat is usually a cakewalk for me, but the game isn't what you'd call well documented at this point. It's incomplete so some things don't work the way one might expect and the game doesn't do an especially good job at explaining them.

The puzzles are puzzling though and artwork is fairly good in my estimation. The combat is where things fall down, again mostly because of the lack of explanation. I'm given to understand that the game is much farther than where I got to before putting it down out of frustration and I think that the difficulty could be dialed back a bit in a few areas. Perhaps they've made those changes since last I picked up my trusty sword and went adventuring.

If you've got an itch for some old-school text-based fun, this might just scratch it. You could certainly do worse. Just mind that you keep a finger over the save button.