Gita Ryaboy (2018)

Blurb: Eunice is a shadow of its former glory. Hope is lost, just a faint mem-ory Whatever might have brought you here, That Eunice needs you, it is clear. Type out simple commands, and Notice the changes in Eunice land. Odd creatures and strange places require your aid. You'll get as much out as the efforts you made

This is a game that says it's trying to tackle deep philosophical issues. It's written by someone who is experimenting with IF to express life ideas. Like how to be grateful, or connected, or flexible. It could work in a game, but I don't see these thing shown here, it's just told to you through special verbs.

The idea doesn't work, not in this context, not with what I saw, and the game that's been put together is ruff around the edges. I think the main problem is, it's put together by some people that never really played IF to any great extent. Maybe I'm wrong and Gita Ryaboy is an anagram for some IF master, but I don't think so. I say that because I banged on this game for a while, and the more I poked at it the more holes I found. Until I put the game in an unwinnable state by dropping an object that could no longer be picked up.

Another problem I had with this game is too many generic responses to the actions that I tried. It's like the game wasn't tested and the author doesn't know about doing these things. When a player runs out of things directly to do they start to play around with stuff. This is where a game will shine or not. And this one missed the mark.

Then there are the missing objects, like in the Forest Glen. There are statues there, though no pluralname, but no bird droppings, lichen, or leaves. All in the description. And dropping things from up in the tree doesn't cause them to fall to the ground below. They stay in the room with the player up there. Or trying to throw the bird from up in the tree. The game just drops it. It doesn't feel like the author put any thought into how it would be play, but focused more on the ideas he wanted to express.

But the ideas get trapped in a story that doesn't flow. The only thing I really got out of it was the special verbs. And in a game that seems to be about relaxing, you can't sit on the grass and have something happen? But you can lay in a hammock. It just felt untested, even though it is credited with several play testers.

Eunice is an open world game, and at its core it needs to stand up to a good prodding. With the world having so much accessible, the player is just naturally going to try out all sorts of stuff. I feel the author needs to familiarize himself with the genre of IF. The syntax that is used, and the things people are likely to try. Maybe this is harsh, but I wouldn't say give it up. But that you learned a skill set, putting this game together, that just needs to be honed.

Just like Eunice, you'll get as much out as the efforts you made.

Score: 3