Where most games are exercises in combinatorics, this is more like algebra. Everything you need is available at the start of the game; every location is accessible; it’s up to you to take that chaos and simplify, reduce, and cancel things against each other to achieve your goal. In the meantime there are people staggering around, pestering you, throwing garbage — plenty of games have entertaining descriptions of static objects, but this one has entertaining situations that are yours to unfold.
While it lasts it can’t be beat for atmosphere. As a young knight sent on a fool’s quest by a distracted ruler, you become trapped in a cave and have to feel your way along.
This game manipulates you masterfully, which I can only admire. But I could never get past the title. “It’s called Tapestry, and there’s like this tapestry in the game that’s, like, a metaphor for your life.”
Unfortunately the game doesn’t have much else going for it. Next to Punkirita Quest, which conjured horrendous spelling errors from another plane, this one seems notably muted.
Where the best of the Inform entries were Accomplishments — in programming (Lists and Lists), writing (In the End), conceit (Piece of Mind), and structure (Tapestry) — the TADS entries were merely good, solid games.
An unassuming, good-humored story about an equally laid-back pizza dude who winds up foiling a town-wide conspiracy.
Would-be techno-thriller with multiple levels of reality. Your identity is yanked away from you before it’s established; you’re told that everything you know is a lie at a point where you hardly know anything. Solving puzzles is recast as “debugging,” but the inconsistencies you’re supposed to be rooting out are revealed by seemingly random courses of action. One of your chief tasks is interacting with a computer via commands like CLICK LEFT MOUSE BUTTON ON SYSTEM ICON. I’d be interested in a transcript of the ideal game.
At one point your path is blocked by a spider. Rather than swatting it out of your way with a plate, you have to use the plate to pry open a paint can, put the can under the spider, then throw the plate at the spider causing it to descend, in self-defense, all the way into the paint and become trapped. And that’s probably the simplest puzzle in the game. The rest, while technically related to the story — you’re afraid of the dark, so the block-pushing puzzle takes place in an unlit tomb — interfere by nature with its telling.
There’s only one point (“small world, small game”) and you’re awarded fractions.
In the End casts you as a solitary node in a hyper-connected future. As a game, it’s disappointing and aimless once you leave the funeral parlor. But depression, to me, is not some accelerated sadness but rather the feeling that nothing in the world is worth doing — and that’s actually captured pretty well here.
> SIT ON MAN
That’s not a scene I think I could get into.
> RUB SANDPAPER ON PAINT
That wouldn’t achieve anything.
Scrape the paint off with the sandpaper!
[Your score has gone down one point.]