Jon Doe - Wildcard Nucleus

In this pastiche of the old Bond films, we're a secret agent sent to look into the death of a scientist whose work, near as I can tell, focussed on the development of artificial intelligence. Not that it matters a whole lot, actually, since we're really here for the high-stakes hijinks. The story opens up in a screenplay format to show us the murder of that scientist and lead us into the opening theme, and then there we are.

It's a promising start. The rest of the story is relatively bug-free, but it's told in a fairly bare-bones style, and the plot points we hit on the way to the denouement are generally treated quite simplistically. Some rather odd word choices lead me to think that the author is not entirely comfortable writing in English; but then, at one point, one of the characters corrects our protagonist on his vocabulary, so maybe that was intentional? Was it? Or maybe it was a clever way of excusing the language oddities elsewhere.

As a game, I think it's best enjoyed with an eye towards nostalgia: it's not just a throwback to the spy stories of the early Cold War era, but to a fairly old-school style of interactive fiction. I get the sense that there is an intelligence behind this that rather outstrips its own reach. It's like French toast for breakfast, except that we have no eggs and must either make do or improvise with whatever we can find in the fridge. Will Bird's custard powder do? It makes for a rather ... odd breakfast, but it's light and not exactly unpalateable.