This is a review for an entry in the Interactive Fiction IntroComp 2011.
This is more like it! After a batch of disappointments we finally hit paydirt. From the opening, this does everything right:
"Babe, I’m really sorry, but I’m going to have to cancel dinner. Yeah, I’ve got to stop the boss from being executed."
If that opening sentence doesn't draw you in, nothing will. It follows up with a great subversion of expectations: here you are, stuck in a medieval prison cell, time to escape the room... hold on, EXAMINE ME gives a strange response:
"Right now your body is in the corner, unconscious. You’re wearing your completely awesome purple robe, but your hat got lost in the arrest fiasco. The stupid fat guy searched you and took all your stuff, but maybe there’s something he missed. I don’t know."
Let's try EXAMINE YOU:
"I’m W.D., your familiar, and I’m awesome. Check out these feathers!"
Not only does this cleverly twist your frame-of-reference, it also provides the solution for the first puzzle. Excellent misdirection. Once out of the cell, standards remain high. W.D's super-snarky style is very amusing, examining everything is no chore here. And although I was unable to complete the next getting-some-cash puzzle, I had a very clear *idea* of how to solve it, so I can't blame the game, I didn't need to read the author's mind, it's clearly my own incompetence (specifically my inability to find a fire-source) to blame.
Do I want to see more? Yes, definitely! If the completed game can keep up the level of humor, continue the deft use of first-person perspective, and expand on its apparent critique of capitalism (as evidenced by title, subtitle and the appearance of both a stock market and a bank) we could have a classic on our hands.