The Chronicler

John Evans (2010)

I donít know what to say about this game, well I guess I do, I just donít want to have to roast this guy. I wish people wouldn't do this. Hereís another game entered into the competition thatís not even finished. I don't even know why some would. I'm just going to slam it, and he's going to walk away feeling pissed on. Nobody wins. I don't want to write bad reviews, but Iím not going to pull any punches either.

The problem I have with The Chronicler is that it isnít even a game; itís an unfinished demo at best. The way I see is that this is a competition for short games. Sure some can go longer, but donít expect me to play for more than two hours. And then after giving this game an honest attempt, I get stuck. So I type help and the game to responds with:

Chronicler is a short game for the Interactive Fiction Competition 2010. Unfortunately, due to time constraints it's only half finished, or perhaps three-quarters. I can only hope that you'll find some amusement from the manipulations of objects it affords, while apologizing for the shortness of the experience.

Shortness of the experience? Itís an unfinished game, and that blurb tells me the author not only didn't finish it, but itís not tested, let alone polished. I might as well close the browser right there, the author hasnít put any time into it. You got to remember that 90% of the work on a game comes during the last 10% of polish.

So what redeeming factors does it have going for it? Well the premise. The idea that you can switch between two time zones using a device, though the only way I found out was by looking at the text file that came with the game. Maybe there could have been a calendar in the lab that would have helped convey this if player looked deeper, but players arenít encourage to look deeper in this piece, there are barely any objects implemented at all. The game is pretty barren.

You know, held over for a year or two by the author and worked into a cohesive idea it could've been interesting, but something like this is nothing more than a novelty that will find its way to the bottom. Besides the interactivity of switching between time zones and solving a puzzle or two, thereís not much here. Even the writing is too thin in most places, almost like places holders needing to be filled in. I could only give it a 2.