Resonance

Matt Scarpino (2009)


On a dark dreary night, waking up from a hangover, you find yourself trying to save your wife after she mysteriously disappeared looking into Psychodyne, a company that's out to get the world. Even though it sounds a bit over the top, it makes an excellent story in this fast-paced, medium-length adventure.

Resonance is all about story, and has changed some of the play mechanics to facilitate this. Instead of ASKing a character about something, or even TALKing to them, the game uses the TALK verb to put you into conversation mode where multiple choice is your only option. While this limits the interactivity it speeds up the pace, and in a game that already takes about 2 hours to play you donít need anything slowing it down.

The beginning of the game is handled well, and even the design helps the player along, familiarizing them with some of the standard IF commands. But once the game opens up the goals become less clear and I wanted to rely on the THINK command, but itís not implemented. It finally clicked for me and I was on my way, but later into the game I found the HINT command and it was exactly what I was looking for. The hints are really well done in this game. Maybe if I read the ABOUT I wouldíve known the HINT command was implemented, but itís just as easy for the author to link THINK to HINT. I tend not to read ABOUTs until the end of the game.

Some of the scenery isn't handled properly with paperwork being fixed in place, or not being able to pull the wire yet I could take it, and if the game slowed down and you started poking around the holes started to show. The game also uses riddles, and these things kill me. I mean if you're going to use multiple choice for conversation topics you might as well do it for the riddles, because there's no way I'm going to figure it out. Maybe some people are good at riddles, but theyíre not my thing; though the reasoning behind having them is spot on.

I scored this game an 8. I found it to be an enjoyable romp even though the story was outlandish. It was pretty easy to get through, I only had to look at the walkthrough twice, and conversation was straightforward. At times some of it could be called an info dump, but I never got hung up asking a question as it kept pace with the game. I enjoyed it, and I think itís one of the better games in the competition.