Review of "The Granite Book"

The Granite Book is a TADS 2 interactive fiction game and is © 2002 by James Mitchelhill.

Review by David Welbourn

I didn't understand this game, and I'm sure I'm not alone. The game starts off very slowly on a barren landscape of granite and mist, and you only get anywhere by examining things, which kinda reminded me of Space Under the Window, sorta. And the PC is... well, I honestly don't know. The PC refers to itself as "we", says we lost our wings long ago, has no objections to eating a corpse, screams in terror when trying to read a book, and dares not touch corn. I couldn't consolidate all that, so I imagined that I was a giant grasshopper and got on with it.

When you escape from "lost" (a clear nominee for worst location name, if ever I saw one), you reach a new landscape that is no less confusing, and only slightly less barren. More alien weirdness, if you like that sort of thing. There's eight or so locations, and you can go in most of the eight compass directions from any of them, but there's no point in mapping it since the connections are all random. Annoying.

Even more annoying is lack of support for the verb "point". There's an NPC, and you can't talk to her, but you do want to communicate with her. I tried pointing to a table; the game didn't understand. But when I try the walkthrough's syntax "girl, lie on table", the game shows me pointing to the table, and the girl complying. Aargh.

Rating: 4.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.