Now, there's a title that inspires confidence. Right off the bat, we know that this is probably going to be on the self-indulgent side, with a few self-deprecatory jabs through the fourth wall to say, "Yes, this is sub-standard but I'm totally able to laugh at it and you should too." That's nice, dear; but if you've managed to get as far as brewing up your own parser and throwing in all these fancy bells and whistles, you should perhaps stand up a little straighter, hmm?

Yeah, from a technical standpoint, this has generally been pretty solidly put together and bug-free. The idea of being able to click on objects in the descriptive text to examine them or do other things with them is nice. Quest does that, though if this IS Quest, it's been pretty seriously overhauled. Not all of the important objects are highlighted and clickable, though. That bit of implementation isn't as thorough as it should be, though if you're like me, you've probably gone to the text input parser by now.

And then there's the timed delivery of text. I hate timed text delivery. I was warned about this before-hand, but I find that it's not quite so objectionable here as it could be -- it's not everywhere in the game. There are bits where "The GM is typing" that I thought were superfluous, but I could see the effect it was going for: it's meant to simulate the exchange between a GM and the player, and the grey "GM is typing" text is useful in telling me that something is coming and my system hasn't simply crashed.

The story ... well, the story is really that we're a player running through a GM's sample adventure, and the sample adventure is basically about getting from point A to point B with no real plot to speak of. As expected, there's pretty much no fourth wall, but I found the GM's commentary to be less annoying than it could be. The second act takes us out of the standard fantasy world into a science-fiction universe, and the third act brings us back -- according to the GM, he had to go to an older version for the second act because the actual one wouldn't load or some such. It does feel as though the first act was the most fleshed out, easily twice as complex and interesting as the other two put together.

I do get the impression that there are deeper secrets to discover -- unless the magic sword is lying to us -- but I haven't found any. I really hope there are, because the ending I arrived it was ... well, somewhat lacklustre. If the story here really is about the relationship between GM and player, then we don't really see any conclusion to it; and if we're more concerned with the so-called sample adventure, well, it didn't really have a story, did it? The wicked Baron we end up defeating has no character development beyond what the GM tells us in an aside just before we meet, and seems to have so little to do with everything we've done that he hardly seems relevant. I'd have liked to have seen something with those two riddling siblings, Jack and Jane; or perhaps with Ranger Bob, just to bring things full-circle....

Maybe that's all in the deeper secrets that I never discovered. But apparently I can't save my game, so I can't exactly go back to poke at different points of the plot. And I'm not playing through everything again just to see what happens if I do X differently.

As a breakfast, this might be toast and jam and instant coffee. Not a lot of effort, it would seem, until we realise that both the bread and the jam are homemade. But even so ... it's still toast and jam and instant coffee.