Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

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IFComp 2016 Review: Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire 2

Posted by Reiko on November 27, 2016

This is a review of a game from the 2016 Interactive Fiction Competition. Scoring criteria can be found here.

Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire – Chapter 2: Journey to Hell
Author: Marco Vallarino
Format: Z-code

This has been translated from Italian, like the other piece from this same author in the comp.

I haven’t played the first chapter (I assume there is one), but both the intro and the “x me” response helpfully contain an entire summary of what the player will need to do in this game, including a magic word to use when all other goals have been accomplished. The PC is an evil vampire, which is an immediate -1 because I don’t want to play as evil characters.

I played through most of the game with the help of the walkthrough, which I turned to when the game suddenly asked me what seemed to be a trivia question and didn’t let me leave without answering. Given how often I’d been encountering people or places from the previous game that needed explanation, I didn’t have any faith that I should have a reason to know the answer. In fact, there’s a nearby location that does provide the answer, but I hadn’t found it yet. The walkthrough also helped me realize I’d missed a crucial item early on, too.

Some of the puzzles are reasonably interesting, especially the uses of the various forms the vampire can become. Some are just disgusting and even offensive. Eventually I got to a puzzle that wanted me to kill a minister, at which point I quit. I don’t doubt the game is finishable, so I won’t score it down for my decision to quit rather than finishing, but I will dock it for the evil character and disgusting puzzles. Even with the same parser and prose quality, it might have scored 6-7 with different content, but I can’t score it higher than 5 as it is.

Time: 30 minutes
Scoring: base 7, +1 for multiple forms, -1 for poor translation, -1 for evil character, -1 for disgusting puzzles
Score: 5


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