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IF COMP 2004 - Identity

Game #8: Identity, by Dave Bernazzani
Played On: 10/07/04 (8:00 PM to 9:30 PM)
Unofficial Score: 9.0 (no skew)

     Once again, science fiction -- and very well executed. Okay, so crashing-landing on an alien planet and a loss of memory may not be the most original of story components, but Mr. Bernazzani did an excellent job. I particularly liked the "Complete %" as opposed to a straight numeric score. Sure, it's still "X out of 100", but it was a nicer way of gauging progress. Like "The Orion Agenda" and "Luminous Horizon", I have to nit-pick to find much technically wrong with this game. I found one typo ("...path through the ticket..." which should have been "thicket") and one quirk (the guard is no longer thirsty, yet he is). I also made good progress through the game, only getting stuck at the guard and again at the radio. For the former, I only required the first hint to figure out that I had missed something. For the latter, I actually tried to get a hint, and one didn't exist for that particular problem (the fuse, the fuse -- but I did figure it out).

     My only real "complaint" is that the game was so engaging -- right from the start, especially -- that I hoped for a little more from the ending. The 2003 film of the same name (John Cusack, Ray Liotta, etc) kept coming to mind, even though the plots are nothing alike. Through the game, I found myself trying to guess the surprise twist concerning my own identity. I thought maybe the "people I work for" were criminals, and I had commandeered the craft. When clues made that unlikely, I thought maybe I was an alien, and this was a pre-industrial Earth I found myself visiting. It's a definite credit to the game that these thoughts crossed my mind. With text that didn't require repeated note-taking on every typo and grammatical problem (for purposes of offering a bug report, I mean), the game flowed quite smoothly. Kudos to Dave, and to his beta testers. This game was an ideal entry in the competition, and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

     Wow... when most of the review isn't a bug report, it's a pretty brief review!

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