Review of "30 Minutes"

30 Minutes is a Z-code interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2008 by Anastasia Trombly.

Review by David Welbourn (originally posted at IFDB)

You know what's cool about spaceships? You know, flying through outer space, visiting planets, rockets and comets and stars, oh my? Robots, aliens, space-age tech? Well, forget about seeing any of that in this game. In fact, for the majority of this game, I didn't know I was on a spaceship. Room and object descriptions are so vague and the rooms are so poorly furnished, I thought it was entirely possible the game was set on a conventional ocean-going vessel.

That's really the major problem with the game. The slideshow of my trip would be a series of white rectangles on the screen, conveying nothing.

There are, of course, other problems. The time limit. The portable fire. The general lack of synonyms. Hiding what little scenery there is by either making it inexplicably invisible or a victim of gnostogenesis (it only exists after the PC knows it exists). However, the runner-up for worst problem is the inexplicable decision to code a specific three-word "verb the noun" command instead of coding "verb [something]" instead.

Any pluses? Well, yes. One. It is a game with a beginning, an end, and two puzzles inbetween, which I believe is all the author wanted to accomplish with this effort, minimal as that effort was. I can't recommend this game, but at least it actually is one.

Rating: ⭐️

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.