Ben Vegiard (2009)

Seeing another game take place in a small apartment I'm forced to ask myself, couldn't the author think of anything better? I mean haven't we seen enough of these already? I guess not because there were another two in this year's competition. Maybe I'm the only one here, but I feel that this setting is a bit worn out.

Interface is an interesting game that has you traversing a small bachelor pad in a robotic shell trying to get your body back. The writing is a little shaky and long-winded in some places, making for a slower paced game, but the smaller play area makes it easy to familiarize yourself with the setting. The extra text does make it a little harder to play though; you have to read things carefully because certain clues can be buried pretty deep. It started to become a problem by the end of the game.

The game did come with a pretty cool .pdf file that you can print out. Itís a map that doesnít give too much away, allowing you to fill in the room names as you take notes. A sort of floor plan for the apartment.

The game feels fairly solid, but as it progresses it starts to fall a part a bit. I noticed some grammar problems right up front, and the game needs a few more synonyms too. But the real problems lie in the lack of functionality, like the water puzzle. The way I envisioned it, I thought I could put a board over the water driving over it, and even though there was a piece of plyboard in game, I couldnít preform the action because the board was too big. Then when I went to PUT THE TOWEL IN THE WATER to clean it up, the game wouldnít allow that either. Things like this can make a big difference, and I canít state enough the need to work in alternative solution to your puzzles.

Another annoying thing is the game seems to be missing a lot of scenery. If it's a noun listed in your game, in the room description or object description, I want to see it, taste it, feel it, and eat it. Lol, but you know what I mean.

At the end I came to the Complex Machine. Now I understand that itís supposed to be complicated, but if the player canít understand how to operate it, it becomes a failed puzzle. Again, things here felt buried in the descriptions, making it much harder to operate. I mean it would have made the puzzle much easier if I could have used TURN ON THE MACHINE instead of having to PRESS THE SWITCH. Turning on the machine can easily call the press switch routine, making the puzzle a bit easier. I think both actions shouldíve been implemented.

I scored this game a 6. Itís a good game, but I didnít like the setting and it still needs a lot more work. The puzzles worked well for it, but having things buried deep in the descriptions made some of them too hard. With the game lacking functionality, it feels cheaply implemented. More time just needed to be put into it. Thereís a cute story here, and itís salvageable, but I have a feeling thatís itís going to be too much for this author to complete. It's too bad. I did like something about this one.