___. .___ _ ___. / _| | \ / \ / ._| \ \ | o_/ | | | |_. .\ \ | | | o | | | | The |___/ociety for the |_|romotion of |_|_|dventure \___|ames. ISSUE #42 Edited by Jimmy Maher (maher SP@G grandecom.net) October 2, 2005 SPAG Website: http://www.sparkynet.com/spag SPAG #42 is copyright (c) 2005 by Jimmy Maher. Authors of reviews and articles retain the rights to their contributions. All email addresses are spamblocked -- replace the name of our magazine with the traditional 'at' sign. REVIEWS IN THIS ISSUE ----------------------------------------------------- Dastardly Flat Feet Future Boy! Return to Ditch Day EDITORIAL------------------------------------------------------------------ (shuffle, shuffle) Is this thing on? Oh! Hello, there! Jimmy Maher, latest caretaker of this venerable institution called SPAG, here! I will venture to guess that most you don't know me at all. The sum total of my contributions to the IF community so far is one still slightly buggy Z-code interpreter that I really must get back to and polish up, a few reviews for SPAG, and the occasional newsgroup post. Be that as it may, Paul O'Brian saw something in my meager corpus that he liked. Assuming it was unwise to distrust such a distinguished IFer, I accepted his job offer, and so, here I am, the next editor of SPAG. SPAG is most definitely NOT all about me, but I will nevertheless tell you all a little bit about whom I am and how I came to be here... 1) For the long version, read on. 2) For the short version, skip down to where you see this... --> Like so many of you, I was introduced to IF through Infocom. Back in 1984, my parents bought me a Commodore 64 computer for Christmas. I hadn't asked for a computer, mind you, and I was actually rather disappointed to find one under the tree in lieu of all the other grand possibilities. I was even more disappointed when I realized that this magic machine was effectively useless. You see, my parents had had great insight in thinking I would (eventually) take to computers with a passion, but they didn't have the practical knowledge to realize that a computer without any storage media whatsoever -- no tape drive, no disk drive, nothing -- wasn't much good to anyone. The Commodore 64 was soon relegated to my closet as an interesting but impractical curiousity. Months later, I was at the local Waldenbooks browsing for something, likely sci-fi novels or role playing game materials, when I stumbled into the software aisle. (Remember those days when bookstores sold software? Wasn?t that sort of cool?) I was stunned to find dozens of colorful boxes offering undreamt of adventure, all through that useless little gadget that my parents had bought me and I had almost forgotten about. The games that caught my eye most of all were those from Infocom, for they promised me the opportunity to become the hero of my own interactive story, and the Infocom game that caught my eye most of all was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for I had just finished the novel, and Douglas Adam's surreal universe had left quite an impression indeed. I spent virtually every weekend after that examining -- nay, let's be honest, stroking -- those boxes that offered me the opportunity to pilot a fighter plane, to plan and execute D-Day, to play Dungeons and Dragons without having to drum up four or five equally nerdy friends... and, most of all, to wander with Zaphod, Ford, and Arthur through the world of Hitchhiker's. When not fondling software at the mall, I spent my free time explaining to my parents that what I would like, what I needed more than anything I had ever needed before, was a disk drive for Christmas, and a certain gray-boxed game to go along with it. Of course, dear people that they are, they came through. I received my disk drive, along with a nice color monitor, and Hitchhiker's, along with a war game my father had picked out called Crusade in Europe. That Christmas morning I took my first stumbling steps into the world of IF, and into interactive entertainment in general. I have been hooked, to one degree or another, ever since. And then? I grew up. For better or for worse, computers and computer gaming remained a big part of my life throughout adolescence, and probably had much to do with my solid C average in high school. I bought some games and I pirated many more. I traded my Commodore 64 in for a 128, and traded the 128 in for an Amiga. Along the way, I managed to learn quite a lot about how computers work and how to make them do what you want, knowledge which still serves me well today. By the early 90s, I was out of high school, and the Amiga scene in the U.S. was beginning its slow death spiral. I belatedly began to realize that there is a great big magical world outside the computer screen. I sold my Amiga and spent a few years wandering bleary-eyed through the Real World, trying to puzzle out what I had missed during my decade-long digital dream. Then I stumbled into a good job at the IT services company I still work for today, and suddenly at least one foot was back in the realm of geekdom. This was a different sort of world, where people used (grrr!) Microsoft products on the desktop and the operating systems I was to administer had names like Unix, MVS, and OS/400 and ran on big machines larger than my car that nevertheless had really bad graphics. I adopted. I spent some time doing the corporate America thing full-on, but I began to find it unsettling. I decided to shift gears. I slowed down at work, managing to get myself slotted into a rather cozy and low-stress (if hardly career-enhancing) position and then I went back to college as, of all perverse things, a liberal arts major. I am now one semester away from finishing up my undergrad work. I vaguely plan to continue on to graduate school, where I hope to spend at least part of my time studying what some call "new media" and some call "humanities computing." Basically I am still as excited by the potential of these strange imagination machines of ours as I was as a boy back in that Waldenbooks all those years ago. I am interested in introducing the computer to the storyteller, and vice versa. Perhaps now you understand why I'm really, really happy to have this particular gig. --> One day several years ago I started feeling nostalgic and typed "infocom" into a search engine. Like so many before me, I was surprised and delighted to discover not only a wealth of information on our favorite game publisher, but also a thriving community of authors and players still working in their tradition. I never left. Oh, I wasn't prominent, mind you. I lurked more than anything, and played quite a few games, and then I wrote an interpreter for the hell of it, and I also wrote a few reviews, and I even started to post a bit (but not too much) on the newsgroups, and then suddenly I was the editor of SPAG. Somewhere a butterfly rests from a job well done. Funny how things work out sometimes... IF NEWS ------------------------------------------------------------------- COMP 2005 Yes, the IF Comp is upon us once again. This year we have 36 entries. If any of them makes a strong impression on you, please think about working up a review for SPAG... and stay tuned for SPAG's special Comp issue at year's end, which will feature interviews with the top three finishers. http://www.ifcomp.org INTROCOMP 2005 Another IntroComp has come and gone. Congratulations to all the entrants, and especially to the top three finishers: Deadsville by William McDuff, Weishaupt Scholars by Michael C. Martin, and The Fox, the Dragon, and the Stale Loaf of Bread by David Welbourn. We will hopefully see these games completed someday. In the meantime, feel free to submit a review for SPAG if any of the intros made an impression on you. IF FOR DUMMIES David Cornelson really wants to bring IF to a wider audience, and I concur wholeheartedly. As his latest venture in that direction, he has created a new version of the IF Promotional CD. This CD allows the newbie to start playing a variety of quality IF right away, just by putting the CD into the drive. Windows only, but then that?s where most of our untapped market probably is, isn't it? Share this with your friends! http://www.ifwiki.org/index.php/IF_Promotional_CD%2C_July_2005_Edition THE UNSOLVABLE PUZZLE? Gonzalo Garramuno is the latest to try his hand at creating a practical system for mapping IF games. Maybe, just maybe he has succeeded where so many others have failed. IFMapper is multi-platform, but requires that Ruby scripting language be installed on your OS of choice. http://rubyforge.org/projects/ifmapper. THE GREAT 2005 NON-COMP REVIEW PROJECT Greg Boettcher wants to make sure that every IF game released in 2005 gets at least one review, and he wants you to help out. http://www.springthing.net/noncomp/noncomp2005.htm. THE UNIFIED INTERPRETER THEORY Tor Andersson has brought interpreters for many IF systems together under one unified front end. In its present incarnation, Cugel supports AGT, Alan, Z-Code, Glulx, Hugo, Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls, Adrift, TADS 2, and TADS 3. Impressive, no? This is alpha software, but already usable and well worth keeping an eye on. Mac OS X only... why do they always get the good stuff? http://ghostscript.com/~tor/software/cugel. SPAG NEEDS YOU! You have probably already noticed that the pickings are a bit slim in this issue. Only four new reviews is a bit disappointing, but SPAG will soldier on. Please, please think about lending the magazine your support. The next issue will be the annual Comp edition, featuring interviews with the top three finishers from this year's Competition. Why not help flesh out the issue even more by contributing one or more reviews? Reviews of Comp games are welcome, as are the following unjustly neglected titles that are still oh so deserving of a review: SPAG 10 MOST WANTED LIST ======================== 1. All Hope Abandon 2. Dawn Of The Demon 3. 1893: A World's Fair Mystery 4. Finding Martin 5. The Corn Identity 6. Mystery House Taken Over games (any, some, or all!) 7. Narcolepsy 8. Building 9. Threnody 10. Whom The Telling Changed NEWS FROM THE WIDER WORLD-------------------------------------------------- THE ESCAPIST The Escapist is a new online magazine dedicated to games, the games industry, and its effect on culture. Serious, thoughtful writing is all too rare in game journalism. These guys are making a brave stab at elevating the discourse, and they deserve our support. (And they've already done an article on IF to boot.) http://www.escapistmagazine.com. STAR CONTROL 2 REVISITED Some of you may have played a game called Star Control 2 back in the day. If you did, I am certain that you remember it. This space opera brought together multiple disparate gameplay elements, grafted them to a compelling plot, threw in clever and sometimes hilarious writing, and out of the whole created one of the most compelling games of... well, ever. Yes, it really is that good, and a stellar example of what interactive storytelling can be when it's done right. The creators of Star Control 2 released the source code for the 3DO console version in 2002, and a group of fans have used it to make a new version of the game that combines the best features of the PC and console versions. If you remember Star Control 2 fondly, take this opportunity to revisit an old friend. And if you haven't played it, you need to. Yes, it really is that good. Don't let the early version number fool you. The current release is complete and stable. http://sc2.sourceforge.net KEY TO SCORES AND REVIEWS-------------------------------------------------- Consider the following review header: TITLE: Cutthroats AUTHOR: Infocom EMAIL: ??? DATE: September 1984 PARSER: Infocom Standard SUPPORTS: Z-code (Infocom/Inform) interpreters AVAILABILITY: LTOI 2 URL: Not available. VERSION: Release 23 When submitting reviews: Try to fill in as much of this info as you can. Authors may not review their own games. REVIEWS ------------------------------------------------------------------- From: Greg Boettcher
TITLE: Dastardly AUTHOR: Andy Chase EMAIL: dastardly.20.banjo SP@G spamgourmet.com DATE: December 2004 PARSER: Inform SUPPORTS: Z-code ports AVAILABILITY: Freeware; Author's site or 24 Hours of Inform site URL: http://achase.net/files/32/dastardly or http://kevan.org/hoi/ VERSION: Release 1 I came to Dastardly with pretty low expectations. I had never before played a game from 24 Hours of Inform, the contest for which this game was written. I was expecting something not much better than a SpeedIF game. What I got instead was a game that has much to admire in its atmosphere and character development, although it does have a particularly serious flaw. The third 24 Hours of Inform contest had two basic rules: write a game in 24 hours, and set the game in a theatre, featuring a petticoat, an advertisement, something which is repainted, and a trapdoor. These requirements led Andy Chase to set his game in a financially troubled theatre in Victorian London. Your are an ambitious playwright, while your financial backer, James, has ruined your hopes by turning your theatre into a burlesque house while he indulges in excesses of drink and flesh. In the "about" menus for this game, Andy Chase says that Dastardly probably contains a lot of historical inaccuracies. Maybe, but I didn't notice any. In fact, I really liked the game's setting and atmosphere. Another thing I liked was the extent to which its characters were developed, far more than I would have expected in a speed-written game. You may not be able to talk to James much during the opening segment, but you can read your journal to gain insight into him, yourself, and others. Before you are done exploring the theatre, you have a fairly good idea of what you must do, and why. Unfortunately, this game has a serious bug that prevented me from being able to finish it. I thought maybe it was just me, so I asked my girlfriend, another IF veteran, to play the game, but she got stuck at the same place that I did. I wrote to the author and found out that we had both essentially done everything we were supposed to do, but were stuck because of a serious bug that often turns the final puzzle into a roadblock. The other major flaw is shallow implementation, whereby a lot of scenery items can't be examined, and lots of other details are overlooked. Of course, this is what you'd expect in a game written in 24 hours. Do I recommend Dastardly? Well, I guess that depends on whether you're willing to write to the author for help, because I'd expect most people to get tripped up by the game's major bug. But if you are so inclined, then yes, play it. It's a short, enjoyable little game, with decent characters and an interesting but flawed puzzle. I'll be able to recommend this game much more strongly when Release 2 comes out, or if hints or a walkthrough are released. Even if there is never a Release 2 (and there usually hasn't been for 24 Hours of Inform games), this game shows promise, and I'd be interested to see whatever Andy Chase does next. P.S. Now that I've written to Andy Chase for help on finishing his game, he told me that his interest in Inform is somewhat rekindled now. He says that a new version of Dastardly may indeed be on the way, though he can't say when. To check for any updates, or to get the most recent version of the game, visit: http://achase.net/files/32/dastardly =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= From: Neil Butters TITLE: Flat Feet AUTHOR: Joel Ray Holveck EMAIL: joelh SP@G piquan.org DATE: March 13, 2005 PARSER: Inform SUPPORTS: Zcode interpreters AVAILABILITY: freeware; IF Archive URL: http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/springthing/2005/flatfeet.zip VERSION: Release 1 When I began playing Flat Feet I was a bit surprised that it only ranked fourth in the 2005 Spring Thing Competition. Despite not having played the other games I assumed they must have been very good to place better than this one. However, it quickly became apparent that the game's auspicious beginning was a broken promise. In Flat Feet you are a cat and you have a detective agency with your ferret partner, Ralph. You haven't had a mystery to solve in a long time but this quickly changes. The mystery involves you and Ralph traveling around San Francisco trying to solve a series of robberies. The game opens with a clever prologue and enjoyable interplay between you and Ralph. After you receive your assignment and head off there is even an "in-joke" that anybody who has attempted to learn the INFORM language will likely appreciate. But after that the game becomes tedious as you try to solve a couple of contrived puzzles to achieve the simplest tasks. Depending on what you already have and the places YOU have visited, these puzzles could require a lot of traveling that only slows down the pace. Grannted the places you have to visit are interesting authentic San Francisco locations but the descriptions could have been more interesting and more detailed. None of these puzzles contributed directly to plot development and thus the mystery is thin and the perpetrator leaves behind some evidence that makes you question her intelligence. The game also doesn't take advantage of some interesting ideas. I thought that being a cat would provide some interesting twists, ie using your agility to solve a puzzle or two. In fact, the first puzzle would have been solved easily by a cat. Unfortunately being a cat is irrelevant. At one point you are offered a different point-of-view of the city but again the game doesn't really take advantage of it in its room descriptions (although this may have been an attempt by the author to comment on how dirty the city is, play the game and you'll see what I mean). There is a rather poor attempt at creating alternate endings. The final showdown could occur in any of six locations but the ending is ultimately always the same. You don't even have to get all the evidence to catch the robber, the one piece of evidence you do need is so generic that it allows for any of six possible suspects. Yet this flimsy evidence is still enough proof to confront the robber. There are some aspects of the game I did enjhoy. The game was sometimes very witty and the comeraderie between yu and the ferret was fun. I liked the locations (maybe only because I visited there once) and there are some bizarre happenings that may hold some interest. I didn't encounter any bugs or any problems interfacing with the game although some room descriptions only make sense the first time you enter them or approach the room from a certain direction. I think Flat Feet is probably worth playing if you are interested in the San Francisco area and would like to read about some of the attractions there. Otherwise you may find the game a bit too tedious and the weak plot won't maintain your interest. Note: There is a walkthrough and source code files available with the game. The walkthrough is a sample transcript complete with room descriptions so it may be tempting to simply read that and not play the game. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= From: Soenke Klettner TITLE: Future Boy! AUTHOR: Kent Tessman EMAIL: kent SP@G generalcoffee.com DATE: 2004 PARSER: HUGO SUPPORTS: HUGO interpreters AVAILABILITY: commercial; http://www.generalcoffee.com URL: http://www.generalcoffee.com. VERSION: ? Future Boy! Is the first commercial project developed with the HUGO-engine, written by HUGO’s creator Kent Tessman. As expected, it is flawless with regard to programming and parsing and it is a convincing proof of HUGO’s power. But what is more important, it is one of the best games I have played in years. The story: Even though the title suggests otherwise, you are not Future Boy, but his roommate. Nevertheless, it is up to you to save the city from the evil supervillain Clayton Eno. To minimize spoilers, let me just say that the plot takes many interesting and surprising turns and is beautifully designed. Plus, you meet very interesting characters, some friends, some foes, some something else. As in any good action comic (or movie, by the way) the pace quickens towards the end. At the same time, the difficulty of the puzzles rises, thus stretching the suspense to a maximum (unless you use the in-built hint system prematurely). The game features congenial graphics, animation sequences and music bits. Cartoonish in style, they add to the superhero flair effectively, but they are neither necessary nor helpful for advancing in the game. So the enjoyment doesn’t suffer too much on a system without graphic support (e.g. Palm). The voice acting deserves special praise: it is amazingly well done and very professional. I didn’t discover any major flaws worth mentioning. The game itself has a linear structure, which means there are no alternative endings and the plot doesn’t develop in different directions depending on the player‘s actions. In the beginning, there is always only one puzzle at hand to be solved to advance the story. In the middle game, the structure becomes much more open and the player can decide which puzzle to try next, so he doesn’t get stuck that easy. The level of difficulty starts very moderate, so even the unpracticed (or untalented) puzzle solver will advance easily and get motivated to try to solve the later, more difficult puzzles by himself as well. This later puzzles get pretty hard and multi-layered, but are always fair, solvable and well provided with clues. There are two features of the game I would like to see in every future text adventure: a "goal" command which tells you what (basically) to do next and a short summary of what happened so far after each restore. So, I really recommand the game to anyone who likes superhero stories, good puzzles and/or good text adventures in general. It is not cheap, but worth the price (although I wouldn’t order the deluxe package again, which is 5 $ more for a common CD case and a four page booklet). =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= From: Valentine Kopteltsev TITLE: Return to Ditch Day AUTHOR: Michael J. Roberts EMAIL: mjr SP@G hotmail.com DATE: June 12, 2004 PARSER: TADS3 SUPPORTS: TADS interpreters AVAILABILITY: freeware; IF Archive URL: http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/tads/return-to-ditch-day.zip VERSION: Release 1 Prepare for a nostalgic trip to Pasadena, California, back to your alma mater - the California Institute of Technology, which you once explored when playing Ditch Day Drifter. One of the problems with nostalgic trips is, the traveller risks going through a major disappointment in the end. Like, when getting to the place you used to live as a child, you suddenly find out that your wonderful playing area full of mysterious corners and secluded nooks turns out to be a rather dull patch squeezed between faceless blocks of flats, and the music school, the way to which you remember as quite a jorney, lies in fact within a five minutes' walk from your former house. The first good news is, you won't have such "shrinkage" troubles with Return to DD. There are several reasons for that. The first one has little to do with the skills of the game author: the thing is, the world perception difference between a student and an alum isn't as harsh as for children and adults;). But even if it was, I doubt you'd have noticed any decrease in size. That's because the game world itself has grown considerably bigger. I don't mean just the number of rooms, although Return to DD has about twice as many of them as DD Drifter (that is, if you don't count in the Behavior Lab maze in the latter); rather, I'm talking of the way the rooms are depicted. What passed for room descriptions in DD Drifter, were essentially lists of exits. That's entirely different in Return to DD: even locations in the area leaving the least space for being elaborate, the steam tunnels, can be distinguished between not just by the directions they lead; other rooms have yet more detailed and vivid descriptions, with practically all the objects mentioned there implemented. You can bet this makes the whole thing seem more real. Still, with all those changes, the place remains quite recognizable. There are topographical resemblances -- in particular, the room you have to solve the "stack" (a challenge you need to overcome to get into a senior's room) for is the very same as in DD Drifter, and its nearest surroundings have a similar structure. Some other major sections, like the aforementioned steam tunnels, don't retain the layout but maintain the overall atmosphere, the "feel" of the rooms. Another thing "inherited" by Return to DD from its predecessor is the humour, which, however, has become more brilliant yet much less harmless; in fact, it gets rather spiteful at times -- for example, read the brochures in the Carreer Center Office. This is quite understandable -- our player character clearly has rid himself of most of the illusions he had during the years that have passed since he graduated. This brings us to the characters. The very generalized, "about the same as always"-looking drifter has developed to a man with a well-defined personality. The folks he has to deal with also aren't the sparingly animated cardboard puppets they used to be anymore; it was amazing to find out they have streaks I previously encountered in real people (for instance, I myself recently baited one of my workmates with getting a huge project done in the couple of days remaining till her vacation pretty much the same way the workers in Return to DD tormented their colleague). With all the praise the "troupe" deserves, one design choice concerning character animation seemed somewhat odd to me: namely, the way conversation was organized. I think it's best described with the term "implicit menu- based system". In most cases, when you initiate a dialogue with someone, the game comes up with topic/action suggestions, like this: >TALK TO TIFFANY As you open your mouth, Tiffany suddenly starts to cry. (You could try to comfort her, or pummel her into silence.) These suggestions really work like menu choices: they only are used to advance the conversation, and the parser doesn't understand them if they're typed somewhere else in the game. The only difference is, instead of selecting the options by number, the player has to re-type them, which is somewhat tedious (in spite of the fact they can be abbreviated). As far as I see it, the theoretical benefit of such a system is more freedom for the player, since, in addition to the options suggested, (s)he can enter some other command. In practice, however, I didn't encounter any situations where this extra freedom was needed, so that a "normal" menu-based conversation seemed more appropriate. Well, maybe it's just a matter of getting used to; anyway, making the suggested options clickable wouldn't do any harm. Having such great characters in one's game, it'd be rather stupid to stick to the old trusted treasure hunt, instead of providing them with a decent story. Without getting into much detail, let me assure you -- there is a good plot, and, which is even better, an optional semi-mystery by-plot. The puzzles needed to be solved in order to complete the main story line are kept on the easy side. The player never remains without guideance, as the "tactical subgoals" always are formulated clearly. One of the puzzles was of the "refer to data source one to find out about data source two, then refer to data source two to find out about data source three, then [put the necessary number of iterations here]" type, which I'm personally not so fond of, yet it was just an episode, and anyway short enough to avoid becoming annoying. Also, a couple of puzzles required some random exploration of the surroundings, but it seemed quite logical under the given context, and was, because of the splendid game world, more of a pleasure than of an issue. The puzzles for the by-plot were more challenging, but still manageable. Since we're talking about puzzles - unlike its predecessor, Return to DD features an adaptive hint system of top quality that keeps track of the player's progress in the game. To put it short - the sequel, quite unsurprisingly, turned out to be superior to the original game in almost every respect. The only point where DD Drifter probably beats its offspring is, encouraging new authors to write in TADS. I mean, after completing DDD, a novice author probably is going to feel a fit of energy and enthusiasm, because the game really is very simple from the technical point of view; Return to DD, on the other hand, is more likely to put him in a state of depression ("Bah, I'll never be able to write THAT good!"). Still, if I had to choose between the game's overall quality and its promotional value, I'd undoubtedly opt for the first one. SNATS (Score Not Affecting The Scoreboard): PLOT: The main plot is decent, the by-plot even makes things fancy (1.4) ATMOSPHERE: Collegiate (1.5) WRITING: Great fun to read (1.6) GAMEPLAY: Well-guided (1.3) BONUSES: Detailed setting, brilliant humour (1.4) TOTAL: 7.2 CHARACTERS: One of the strongest aspects of the game that has no weak points whatsoever (1.8) PUZZLES: Solid, but they don't seem to be the keystone of the game (1.2) DIFFICULTY: Optimally suited for introducing novices to IF (6 out of 10) ...And no, there won't be any SNATS for Ditch Day Drifter, because that'd be an unfair comparison. SUBMISSION POLICY --------------------------------------------------------- SPAG is a non-paying fanzine specializing in reviews of text adventure games, a.k.a. Interactive Fiction. This includes the classic Infocom games and similar games, but also some graphic adventures where the primary player-game communication is text based. Any and all text-based games are eligible for review, though if a game has been reviewed three times in SPAG, no further reviews of it will be accepted unless they are extraordinarily original and/or insightful. SPAG reviews should be free of spoilers, with the exception of reviews submitted to SPAG Specifics, where spoilers are allowed in the service of in-depth discussion. In addition, reviewers should play a game to completion before submitting a review. There are some exceptions to this clause -- competition games reviewed after 2 hours, unfinishable games, games with hundreds of endings, etc. -- if in doubt, ask me first. Authors retain the rights to use their reviews in other contexts. We accept submissions that have been previously published elsewhere, although original reviews are preferred. For a more detailed version of this policy, see the SPAG FAQ at http://www.sparkynet.com/spag/spag.faq. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you for helping to keep text adventures alive!
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