Escape From Summerland

This was the first game that the randomiser gave me, and I confess that the original version was buggy enough that I gave up fairly early. It was charming enough, however, that I later picked it up again later, when it had been updated, to play through to the end.

I enjoyed the different viewpoints. Each was entertaining in its own way; Jacquotte and Shinobi in particular were certainly unusual. It's nice to see unusual viewpoints, but I am certain that any one of them could have gotten very old very quickly. I suppose they are unusual precisely because they cannot be taken in doses large enough to sustain a game. So the introduction of variety was definitely a good thing, allowing as it did the experience of these voices without letting any one take too much control.

Admittedly, it seems that Amadan's is the central viewpoint. Since his is the one the player relies on for a balanced and familiar visual assessment of things, his is the one to which the player must pay the most attention. It is not a completely objective viewpoint, however: Amadan is distinctly fruity in his expressions. I suppose that, as the midpoint between Jacquotte's hyperactivity and Shinobi's opaque sterility, his is the most likely to be able to sustain a full-length game. Still, the fact that his voice is so often cut with that of the others probably makes it easier to swallow.

It is interesting to suppose -- and the game ending hints at this -- that in reality Amadan IS the protagonist, and that Jacquotte's and Shinobi's co-operation is due to his having possessed them: when you switch between those two, you are in fact literally taking control of them as Amadan....

It is rather amazing what difference an update can do, incidentally. The original version was, in my opinion, much too broken; the updated version -- and there may be an improved post-competition version -- is worth at least 2 points to me were I a judge. The authors, if they've been paying special attention to my breakfast menu on the authors' forum, might notice that the eggs are no longer raw, the tea no longer tepid, and the sugar no longer "collected at the bottom of the cup".

One change wrought by the update, though, is that Jacquotte is no longer able to ride Shinobi around. I had thought, in my first playthrough, that this was the intended solution to the problem of Jacquotte not wanting to travel into dark regions; if there was a bug, I would have guessed that the bug was in allowing Jacquotte to remain on Shinobi when the light bulb is not installed. The present version as of this writing makes it necessary to keep switching between Jacquotte and Shinobi to enter new dark regions: Shinobi will not move until Jacquotte either removes herself or is herself removed from it. Happily, Jacquotte is willing to travel into dark regions without Shinobi's light source once she has visited those locations at least once; but I prefer the original solution of riding the robot around.

Maple-glazed ham, one pineapple ring, and two rather runny fried eggs, arranged in a smiley face. Milky tea with a good helping of sugar.