Pen and Paint

A very promising start: our protagonist is a writer who bends reality to suit his decorative instincts. His wife paints, and is apparently similarly talented in the reality-bending field. And now someone's gone and broken into their home. There's a huge amount of possibility in this, and, once it became apparent that the story would involve delving into alternate realities conjured by the meeting of the talents of the protagonist and his wife, I was looking forward to some truly exciting world-hopping.

Sadly, the game does not quite deliver. The alternate worlds are not so exciting and involved as I had hoped, but I suppose that is forgiveable; perhaps I had gotten a little over-excited by the premise. The cloud world, at least, was suitably alien. Each world seems to include a location described as "gray, incomplete", which I soon understood to mean that the work itself, the book written by the protagonist, was incomplete. There are hints here and there that the protagonist has been slacking hugely. A nice twist on the premise, and it is revealed in the ending that this is the intruder's primary motive: he wants to spur the protagonist into finally finishing his books.

And then ... nothing happens. The protagonist leaves the intruder in the prison he and his wife fashioned between them -- rather a horrible fate right there, and completely unremarked upon -- and proceeds as if none of that expository text meant anything. Maybe it's very clever, fashioning the game itself to echo the protagonist's inability to deliver on his promise, but I think that here it is a case of being too clever for its own good: we don't want the game to look like an unfinished work. It is carrying the theme too far.

One more thing I should note: an object vital to one of the puzzles goes unmentioned in its location text. There is, as far as I can tell, no way of finding it without the player knowing it is there. No-one and nothing points it out, and it is not even an object that one might reasonably assume would be in that location. This is a major annoyance, one which often kills my enjoyment of a game.

Toast with suspiciously scarlet strawberry jam, and decaf coffee.