Leadlight

Wade Clarke (2010)


This is a dark adventure that even comes with an explicit warning scaring people away from playing this game. Itís written in an Apple II GS environment with interpreters for both the PC and Mac, giving it a very old school feel. And the writing only echoís that feeling, giving it a classic tone coming from the 80s. Itís also a hybrid game, part adventure along with in game combat, using stats and weapons and everything else that goes along with those RPG elements.

Leadlight is dark indeed, putting you in the roll of a young girl who has been shipped off to boarding school by uncaring parents. After a long day of studying in the library, you nod off, falling to sleep for a bit. But when you wake up after night fall, everything has changed. The girl across from you is dead! The game is a form of survival horror giving you the chance to fight back against these zombies. The commands are simple, and the longer fights are intense when youíre running low on hit points.

Since the game is written in its own language, a modified version of Eamon, it has a limited set of verbs, and the whole game uses only two word input. Verb/Noun. But with the list being so small the game can display everything that it accepts on the screen if you type a verb that it doesnít understand. I think this is a great feature especially for newcomers to IF. It allows the player to figure out the best verb they can use to express themselves at that moment, something that hangs people up all the time.

Another small problem I had with the parser was that it didnít accept X for EXAMINE, so I had to type it out. This is a pain, and probably the reason X was adopted as a shortcut, but besides that I had no problems with the game. It was actually amazing that a game coded in a modified language like this could hold up to some extensive playing. I went for the full 2 hours, and not even the smallest bug cropped up. The author really did a great job on this game.

There are some instant deaths here, but those can be undone. But if you die while in combat youíre going to have to restore from a saved point, so Iíd have to recommend that you save often. Keep in mind that you need to keep your heath up there too. Thereís only a limited amount of food that you can find, some even steal. If a fight goes pretty badly, you might want to try it again.

In the end I loved this game, itís great. Iím really tempted to go back and try to finish it, but I guess thatís the biggest problem that I had with this game. I couldnít see the end of the story and in this game in particular, thatís real important. Thereís a whole section of secrets that point to where itís going, but I got a bad feeling about the ending, and without knowing by the two hour mark I have to at least take one point off. Itís an awesome game, I just couldnít finish it. I scored it a 9.