Review of "All Things Devours"

All Things Devours is a Z-code 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2004 by half sick of shadows. At the 2004 XYZZY Awards, it won the Best Individual Puzzle award; it was also a finalist in both the Best Puzzles and Best Use of Medium categories.

Review by David Welbourn

I decided to try this game on the last day of the comp, thinking I'll just quickly try to squeeze one last game into my rankings. However, after playing a half hour of this one, I realized I would not solve it quickly, if at all. I also realized by this time what much of the puzzle would be and what I'd have to do to work it out but, um, I just couldn't be bothered. I did download the walkthru, renamed it to "devour.rec" and used "replay" to see if I was right in my assumptions (I was). And I did appreciate the sheer cleverness of it all. I can only begin to imagine what the code must look like.

However. I couldn't help but think of other puzzle box games like Lock & Key, Varicella, and Rematch, and I wanted to play those games a lot more than I wanted to play this. Y'know why? Because manipulating weird people, bizarre death traps, etc. that interact with each other in various combinations that give interesting results is a heck of a lot more compelling than micromanaging the location of a flashlight battery in space-time. Those other games had cool stuff that could surprise you; this did not. I could bring up other minor gripes (e.g.: how to use the darned bomb; "light bomb" and "turn on bomb" did not help), but that was main one. So, points for cleverness, but ehn. How fun is bookkeeping, really?

Rating: 5.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.