What Once Was

We're a grad student whose advisor is working on a time machine. We're supposed to meet him in his lab, but once we figure out how to get in, we find that he, of course, has disappeared and the time machine needs repairs. Meanwhile, it appears that the university is headed towards a dark, dystopian future which we will also have to fix somehow.

This looks like a great premise, and most of the puzzles are pretty decent. (I do object to the puzzle with the Huge Boulder, though, as not quite fitting with the world.) The author has a fondness for puns, which abound everywhere; there's some good, lighthearted humour informing this game. (No, I don't think the puns excuse or inform the Huge Boulder puzzle.)

That being said, the game is pretty bare-bones, more of a sketched outline than a deeply implemented world. Characters never say more than the lines they need to say for the function in the story; if the story doesn't require you to speak to them, talking to them elicits a standard "he/she/it says nothing" response. This is particularly jarring where communication is expected, just not by simply talking to the character; and in a few places, the pronoun supplied by the standard response is "it", as though the character hasn't been properly defined.

The world, too, grows more and more sparse as we progress through the game: where our initial room provided a lot of objects to set the scene (probably more than we really need) late-game locations may go completely undescribed, and at least one location includes story narration in its description.

I also note the use of "sat" in place of "sitting", which is a personal bugbear of mine. Please: "he is sitting", NOT "he is sat".

My final assessment is that this is a game with a lot of potential, that could stand a lot of fleshing out and perhaps an editor's pen. (Aside from the "sat/sitting" sit-uation, there are also an uncomfortable number of run-on sentences.) The plot and planning of the story are good; we just need better execution. This is like one of those mornings where you find everything you need for a good fry-up, and maybe you even take out some eggs with the idea of making an omelette, but somehow the breakfast you actually end up eating is toast with cheese and cold milk, and the eggs go right back into their basket.