8 Shoes on the Shelves

This started out promising. We're in Flanders with the Great War raging around us, and we're on some sort of mission. We've found our way through to some sort of underground bunker, and now we've got to get free of all this debris in order to proceed.

Pushing the debris off us takes us close to halfway through the game, and I don't mean because the process is long: I mean because there's not actually a lot between here and the end of the game. Or, more to the point, there's not a lot between here and the place where you could, with a move, reach what I presume to be the victory ending: I'm pretty sure there's a fair amount of optional stuff, though I haven't found it. The walkthrough is no help in that regard, merely telling me how to reach that victory ending while bypassing all the interesting stuff that it promises me is there.

So, my experience basically leaves me wondering what this was all about. I don't know what my mission is. I don't know what these eight shoes are all about. I've found a void space with seven stars that I mustn't linger in, but I don't know what the point of it is. If there is an explanation, it's all dark to me. The walkthrough claims that the point here is to explore and discover, but there doesn't seem to be much encouragement in that direction, given that the intuitive "next steps" all meet up with nothing.

(I'll note that at one point I needed to access a cabinet whose presence I only became aware of because I attempted to search some desks. Not because searching the desks revealed the cabinet, but because searching the desks caused the game to remark that I'd have better luck examining all these other things that, as far as I can tell, I should have been aware of from the beginning. That's kind of annoying.)

Breakfast for this is like toast spread with Bovril and margarine. It's all basically edible, and the flavour is there, but maybe it's best not to ask too many questions about how they managed to liquify a cow for your Bovril. Also, there's a mysterious, fishy flavour in the tea.... Just smile and nod, soldier: smile and nod.