, but then I showed her why prime numbers aren't fit to such tasks, and the conversation ended.

Anyway, I don't think I should bother you with such quarrels any longer. Let's move on to the next IntroComp game.

Closed Circles, by M. M. Kathrel

All Things Considered...
Confession: I like settings with this kind of mood. I know, I know, they're easy intros that can go anywhere. This one doesn't go very far, to be honest. It's a lonely walk on a strange setting. There's a guy with a sliced throat. There's a broken wagon. There's a very broken lighthouse. And all of this gave me no idea of what the game is about.

[+] I liked the initial mood and the detailed descriptions. The random environment  messages gave it a nice touch. I'm also a sucker for lonely, abandoned and broken settings, so this started off fine.

[-] It's buggy like hell and in a way that really clamps the enjoyment. Objects that sometimes are there, and other times are not; rooms that go into the nothingness and won't let you out of it; boots that have something inside, but no obvious way to get it out. It also doesn't even start to sketch a story -- well, as far as I was able to play it, anyway.

So, how bad do I want to play the full-game?
I don't know. A tiny bit. Not much. The truth is that even if the story unfolds into an interesting architecture (a time looped universe? I'm guessing from the title and the dream sequences, but it's only a guess), the intro itself gives no warranty such story will be told in a exciting way.

Notes while dancing at this tune:
[1] After an intro to the general guidelines of how to play the game (which was not as boring as it could be), we flow on edited narrative. We don't get to chose anything, but the [press SPACE bar to continue] technique paced my reading in a plesant way. The writing has good imagery, but sometimes I got lost in the frasing ("comma in the wrong place" sort of thing).

[2] I like the setting so far - lost, beaten up, memoryless guy (so far) in a strage place - but the first oniric intro could be shorter and slowly tucked into the game itself. The implementation seems solid (the moon is there, so are the mountains and the clouds, which is great), the first description was moody and detailed, with some good images, but - again! - confusing sentences. In spite of this, I think I want to know who I am and what do I have to do with that sliced throat, so that should count for something. BUT: I hate wagons. I also hate peacocks. I hope that if a peacock arises in this game, may it be in much the same condition as this wagon: broken, with a weel missing and a dead guy hanging outside. Have you ever seen a dead man hanging outside a peacock? Nasty thing to watch, nasty indeed.

[3] Well, I'm confused. I've entered the coach and left, and now the description changed to include a dead horse, but no body hanging in the window. If I enter and leave the coach again, the body is back, but I see no horse. Bug or feature? And if feature, why?

[4] So, we have a dream sequence after I'm warm and cozy. Speaking of dreams: just went to see Inception the other night. It over explains itself, but otherwise cool and clever stuff.

[5] Strange thing: I can't take the umbrella, I can't take the bag, I actually can't take anything, but I can carry around a chest with a heavy padlock with me. Being able to carry it is about the only clue I have that it means something.

[6] So, the lighthouse. I never did like buggy ligthouses. How can fisherman trust them? And, Oh boy!, is this lighthouse buggy: run-time errors, declarations on repeat, places that do not exist. The story itself is not holding the hook, since is not going anywhere.

[7] Well, this is a joy-stopper bug: I opened a door that goes... nowhere; and once inside this nowhere I can't go... anywhere. The look command gives me a "Nothing obvious happens" response. Trying to go n or s or e or w results in nothing. I'll have to restart. "Just quit it", said an irritating voice on my frontal lobe.

[8] But quiting I didn't do. The astronomy reference did it. I like astronomy. I once read a book about astronomy. I liked it alot. The idea of stars and constellations and the position of planets having such an important role in our personality and our future fascinates me! [sigh]

[9] So: inside the lighthouse I have a stairway up that leads nowhere, two doors that lead to a loop-bug-heaven, and a boot that has something inside and no clue as to how to take it off. I quit. I'm sorry. So sorry. Like in that REM song, The Apologist. I liked Up, by the way. I know, I know, I'm aware of it, but I liked it nonetheless. Sew me, REM purists.


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