Eric Eve (2009)

Eric Eveís Snowquest is another fine example of his work, though similar problems I had with last yearís Nightfall are still evident in this game. I found a few things buried and I personally needed some prodding in the right direction at times, but besides these few minor points youíll find a rich story, disjointed in parts, with it all coming together at the end. And I must emphasize story, because it felt more like story than game, a nice change from whatís been presented so far.

I found that most of the puzzles work for the setting, fitting perfectly with nothing strange or fantastic about them, but they're so hard that I just kept turning to the walkthrough, something that would happen over and over again in this game. Maybe it's just me and I'm not use to playing good IF, but I struggled to get through this one. Also, if I got stuck I didnít work on it forever, it took me 5 hours to get through last year game by him and I wanted to get this one done in 2.

As usual Eric is burying objects again, making the game a little harder than it needs to be. For example the jagged piece of rock, it's needed in a puzzle but it doesn't catch your eye at all when you first find it. So it doesn't register later on in the game that I might need it. Not that I would have figured that puzzle out on my own anyways, but with it hidden thereís almost no hope.

The NPCs have a bit of depth, though they have a limited vocabulary, but the flow of the game moves through their scenes rapidly, not giving you much time to interact with them, so you don't notice it too much. Technically I ran into no problems, itís a solid piece of work and a real pleasure to play.

The writing is awesome as it sort of sweeps you away into a surreal experience, but for me the game could have been a little better, maybe with a bit more hinting to help smooth over some of the harder puzzles. I have to say this is a hard one to score. I feel it can be better so then I should give it a 9, but I also feel like this might be a bit of nitpicking, and it is a really great game, so I should give it a 10.

But for me I've been pretty brutal on games for lacking hinting in puzzles, not one game this year has scored a 2 in the puzzle category, so I have to stand by my criteria no matter how much I like this game. There are a few things that I feel could use a bit of tweaking, minor, but still. So I feel that I should score it 9, to at least be fair to the other games in the competition and keep everything on an even scale.