The Castle of Vourtram

The presentation is very pretty, I'll give this that much. Fancy font on a parchment background ... it appears to be a heavily modified version of Quest, so there are hyperlinks and drop-down menus to ease interaction. But the game itself seems to be a very bare-bones implementation of a fairly generic fantasy. We first choose our character class by going to the appropriate guild for training, and then we do side quests until we're strong enough to face the evil wizard.

I've said before that I enjoy RPG mechanics, but I think now that I need a little more to the story in order for that enjoyment to kick in. In this case, there was just ... too little. The implementation was too narrow. I have no sense of the characters, I could find little to do with the things I found, and, aside from the RPG mechanics and the presentation, much of this felt like a Scott Addams minimalist text adventure.

It's possible, I think, to have a minimalist approach and a fairly broad implementation, by which I mean that actions not within the path to victory would also be considered and implemented, generally with a view towards giving some idea as to what needs to be done in any situation. Trying to fight a werewolf, for example, might yield something along the lines of "You need X to do that" (if you want to be blatant) or "Something X-like might help" or ... or something. Just not "Are you crazy?" because, hey, if I've picked the warrior class, why wouldn't I want to fight the werewolf mano-a-mano?

(I always pick the warrior class because I am secretly a very angry person and I want to solve everything by smashing it in with a sword. Don't tell my priest I said that.)

Most egregious fault: placing a contest in the game, telling the player it takes the payment of a single coin to enter, and then not implementing any of the sensible ways by which one might do exactly that. If, in fact, I was supposed to wait for a later moment to enter the contest, that should have been made clear.

As breakfast, I call this a cluster of carrot roses and a glass of iced tea. Lovely to look at, and maybe there's a minimal amount of vitamins and minerals involved, but not exactly the most substantial of meals.