The Ascot

Duncan Bowsman (2009)

After some of the frustration with the Adrift games last year, I’m a little hesitant to try any this year wondering if they’re just going to be a waste of time. And The Ascot didn’t let me down. The game seems like a strange collection of ideas from a teenagers mind, mixing the real world with fantasy elements. It's a Choose Your Own Adventure type of game using yes and no for input, making it real easy to play, but there’s almost no room for replayability once you find the golden path.

A CYOA can be pretty good. There’s a series of books from the 80’s that I have, Endless Quest, and even though the writing is simple they’re fun to read. But when you break down all the action to just yes and no you really take away a lot from the genre. On top of that there’s not much to do, there are only three to four scenes depending on the path you take, and each one only asks you a few questions.

I scored this game a 5. It does have vibrant writing, but I can't give it a bonus point, everything seems random and odd with nothing coming together at the end to make a point. The resolution is as week as the set up. I also ran into a technical error when I didn’t buy a certain item for the last scene. But I did like some of the imagery, and it doesn't take long to play, so you might want to give it a whirl. Just know that there's not a lot there.