Review of "The Temple"

The Temple is a Z-code 5 interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2002 by Johan Berntsson. At the 2002 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Individual NPC category.

Review by David Welbourn

Hm. Spooky. I haven't read any Lovecraft, so I was probably at a disadvantage for this one. Certainly, I far preferred this uneasy ambience better than that of Scary House Amulet!, but it never really got scary or frightening either.

One odd technique was used several times. I would attempt action X, and I'd do that, but then the game might say I then did a related action Y, followed by impossible-to-foresee effect Z. Sometimes this technique worked, sometimes it didn't. It doesn't work if I never think of trying X in the first place, or if I try X in the wrong location and if I become convinced this that action has no useful effect, then I get stuck (e.g.: what to do with the book). On the other hand, when it worked (e.g.: cat on the bridge), it was brilliant.

The game stumbled a few times. Sometime after sending my companion home, there was a cave-in underground, and he unexpectedly returned from Earth to tell me where a certain item was. Furthermore, the location that he told me about was one that I had already looked at, and although the game claimed that I wouldn't have found the item if I hadn't known where to look, I must strongly disagree. I most certainly should have been able to find the item there with or without prompting.

Rating: 7.

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.