Review of "Bellclap"

Bellclap is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2004 by Tommy Herbert. This game was entered in IF Comp 2004 where it took 17th place. It was also a finalist for Best Use of Medium at the 2004 XYZZY Awards.

Review by David Welbourn

The most interesting thing about this game is the triad PC: you, the god without any name, attributes, or special abilities; the hapless yet devout human named Bellclap that you're trying to save; and your nameless intermediary through whom your godly commands are filtered, misunderstood, ignored, or otherwise nullified. It's so hard to get good help these days, isn't it?

Actually, maybe you do have a name. It's Sir.

The problem of Bellclap (the human, not the game) is two-fold: he's hungry and he wants to go home. This shouldn't be that difficult to solve. Bellclap could kill one of the sheep outside and eat it. Bellclap could wait out the storm in the temple and be perfectly safe, and then go home. To me, that seemed the obvious way to help him. Alas, that wasn't at all what the author had in mind, and so this god was rather impotent. In fact, trying to guess what the author had in mind was the real problem, especially when certain things that should've been obvious to the god-PC weren't explicitly explained to the player. So, I had to consult the walkthrough. And, y'know, even when I followed it, I don't remember meeting all of Bellclap's needs.

Rating: 4.

🔑️ See my walkthrough. ✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.