Games

WARNING: CONTAINS SLIGHT SPOILERS

“Have you ever wondered what Christmas would be like if it were run by your horrible cat, who also happened to be a timeless Lovecraftian horror? Find out in this bloody festive holiday treat!”

This is the blurb for Byron Alexander Campbell’s ALAN3 game which was published in 2009.  The tone of the game is light-hearted, especially compared to the author’s other game released at about the same time, “Room 206”. This time around, the task is to catch a fish for your pet cat which turns out to be the great Cthulhu itself (!). Despite the Lovecraftian connection, the game is humorous throughout, even if macabre elements abound.

Byron Alexander Campbell's "Room 206" was released a while ago in ALAN3, and according to a current thread on rec.games.int-fiction he is working on an Inform7 implementation of the game. This review is based on the ALAN3 version and has mainly only mild spoilers. More straightforward spoilers will be marked below.

As to its length, the game is rather extensive - easily longer than the average IF Comp game and maybe the longest ALAN3 game produced. In the beginning of the game we find the hero in a chapel right after a wedding. Curiously, he can't seem to find his newly-wed wife anywhere; she has gone outside the chapel a bit before him to say goodbye to the guests. Outside, however, there is just an empty limousine waiting, as well as the empty chapel grounds with no people around. Initially, you only seem able to wander around the few locations in and around the chapel. Soon, however, it becomes evident that there is more to this story than meets the eye. You begin to get hints of everything not being quite right when you find a ladies' shoe - instead of, say, a bottle of champagne -  in an ice bucket in the limousine, and other similar things. From there on it's an unpredictable ride with lots of twists and turns. The game turns out to have a rather sinister and disturbing plot and could be classified as a horror story.

What They Say

"If I was to write a new text adventure I wouldn't bother with any other authoring system. Alan is just that much easier."

Felix Pleșoianu