Game Reviews

 


Draculaland

Campy, wonderfully silly, and packed to the gills with supernatural mayhem, Robin Johnson's text-based experience Draculaland puts the Bram Stoker classic in your hands with a really liberal comical twist or ten. You are Johnathon Harker, recently arrived in Transylvania following a positive telegram from Van Helsing, who, surprise surprise, has actually discovered this "Dracula" fellow takes place to be a vampire. Van Helsing seemed very sure he could dust Dracula simple, however he's nowhere to be discovered in the tiny town you start in. Maybe you 'd better try to find him? To play, just click the buttons on the best side of the screen to select actions. They're all quite self explanatory, such as instructions, speaking with somebody, getting or dropping items, etc. It is possible to fail fatally, so utilize the button to conserve your game ... or the one to reverse your last action if you wind up losing a pint a lot of.

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Draculaland seems like exactly what you 'd get if you blended a more restrained variation of Dracula: Dead and Loving It with Hitchhiker's Illustrated Overview of the Galaxy ... a wonderfully strange and caring parody of the source product packed full of foolish puzzles that require you to believe outside the pinewood box. The click-style mechanics get rid of the most frustrating element of many interactive fiction titles, which is naturally trying to figure out the right verb the parser will accept for a specific action. (I'm sorry. I don't comprehend, "Just unlock, you Celestia-forsaken device!") This leaves you free to take pleasure in the puzzles which are, largely, very darn fun. The abovementioned click-to-act buttons suggests it's easy to exhaust choices if you're stuck, but even if they're relatively foolish, options usually make an odd sort of sense once you align your thinking with the game's world. The downside is that the game typically gives hardly any in the method of player tips or nudges towards its complete stranger puzzles, and it can be frustrating if you have to resort to trial and error to resolve something that's purposely goofy. The writing is basic, however effective, and typically lovely funny, and the entire thing passes with a sort of breezy simple and easy charm that makes it sparkle. More "spoopy" than scary, Draculaland is an excellent place to go to ... simply ensure you have some Italian food prior to you head out.

 

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