The 12:54 to Asgard

J. Robinson Wheeler (2010)

The 12:54 to Asgard is a game too big for the competition, I only got through about half of it, but the writing is strong and the story is intriguing. Too bad it centers on a lot of puzzles that arenít clued, leaving me wondering around trying to figure out what to do. Itís an exploration game, so I canít say that it needs direction, but some clues that would encourage me to complete my goals would help.

The title says it all, your about to die, and with thunder raging in the background I figured that I might as well just get it over with. So during the first part I did the minimal it took to move on to the next scene. I figure if Iím going to die anyways, why wait around for it. But I didnít expect to be taking all the things that I had in my inventory with me, so when I turned to the walkthrough I was missing quite a few items that look like theyíre need to progress the game. So I figured I would play through it seeing if I put it in an unwinnable state or not.

And I must say the author did a really good job here. Even though I was wondering around with just about nothing, I was able to get around the game, playing through certain vignette and at least making it back out, not getting stuck. And then at the end I found the turnstile that lead back to the studio where I died. And everything was there as I left it, except for my body, allowing anybody that might have left some stuff behind the ability to go back and get anything they forgot.

But this is where I had to call it. By then I played through all of my time, and when I looked at the walkthrough I could see that there was a lot that I missed. Basically I had done nothing but look around, and I canít see myself taking another two hours to finish it.

The 12:54 to Asgard is a well written game by a named author who has done this before. Itís stable, something that you would expect; but the game is a little too sprawling with not enough direction to keep me on track so that I could at least finish it in the two hours I had. Iím not sure that the competition is the right place for this; people might enjoy it more if there wasnít a time limit, but I found it interesting and scored it a 7.