IF Comp ’09 Review: Spelunker’s Quest

So, let’s see what’s up next, here… Something called Spelunker’s Quest.

Ooh, I just opened it up in Zoom, and there was a picture, but sadly it disappeared too quickly for me to make out what it was. It was interestingly sepia-toned, though.

Spelunker’s Quest was written by Tom Murrin. Disclaimer and review list.

Non-spoiler summary: Solid, workmanlike. Very small. Scenery exists, but doesn’t have descriptions. Suffers from a guess-the-verb and some hidden points that I doubt anyone would find without the walkthrough. But on the whole it’s a good start towards a more complete game.

Spoilers after the picture. Did you know that Dig Dug is Mr. Driller’s dad? He totally is, I’m not making that up. His real name is Taizo Hori.

Media_httptechnabobco_qsubn

Hmm, looks like this one is going to be a standard sort of dungeon-crawly, treasure-findy thing. I’m okay with that. I’m not sure that I’m going to have the patience to actually draw a map, but… well, we’ll see how it goes.

>xyzzy

I won’t give away what happens, but that was pretty awesome. Well, except for the fact that it killed me, but hey, it was my first command of the game, so no big loss. It was neat.

However:

>x me
As good-looking as ever.

Sigh. One hand giveth, and the other taketh away.

>i
You are carrying:
a brass compass

>x compass
It empowers you with the knowledge of which direction is north.

I never really thought about that before. I guess most IF characters just have preternaturally good senses of direction.

…This cave has a living room in it? Weird. I also note that, while this room has a lot of scenery objects (yay!), none of them have descriptions (boo!).

I appear to have been killed, unavoidably, by a goblin (they have goblins in Brazil?). I’m getting the sense that this game is perilously old-school. Perhaps the author professing his love of the Space Quest games in the ABOUT should have warned me. Looks like it’s “save every five moves” time.

Hah! Eat that, goblin!

What the hell — this goblin had a .50 caliber machine gun under his mattress, and he chose to attack me with an axe? Goblins is stupid.

Man, this lake keeps killing me, and I don’t seem to have anywhere else to go. I found a stone. It’s a cool stone, I guess.

Walkthrough says: RUB STONE. Sigh. And I was supposed to know to do that how?

Oh hey, I won. Didn’t get the full points, because according to the walkthrough, I neglected to use the machine gun to shoot up the walls in the goblin’s room. Again, how would I have known to do that? I went back to my save and checked the goblin’s room, and I’m not seeing anything that would indicate that the wall is in any way special.

Well, anyway. It’s an okay game. Or rather, it’s an okay start to a game. Solidly put together, but it needs more. Scenery descriptions would be good. And some kind of hint about the desirability of rubbing the stone. Keep going, Tom Murrin.

I think my main quibble is that I can’t think of anything funny to say. Except maybe “quibble”. Quibble!

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