#56 Planetfall

Posted: 12th June 2017 by Jeroen in Games
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609th played so far

Genre: Interactive Fiction
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 1983
Developer: Infocom
Publisher: Infocom

It feels like the arcades dominate these early years of gaming, and my mind, when seeing a title like Planetfall, automatically assumes it’s some action gamer or shooter once again with a space theme.

The space theme is still there, but instead we get another Infocom adventure. That’s a good thing – even now they’re still good story writing for games, and they were amazing compared to everything else that was put out in the day. Will I be able to survive the puzzles?

Our Thoughts

So it did, and although some puzzles were clear – making it out of the spaceship where you start to a relatively safe space is quite manageable – this game adds a hunger and sleep mechanic. I suppose it’s sensible that it does so, but it’s another puzzle to solve that makes itself more difficult by the long term inplications if you don’t quite get it – it can create dead ends that you can’t get out of with a restore, especially considering how far away from the solution you can be considering distance.

Still, it makes for an interesting experiment, and I can see why you would try it. It suits the difficulty these games tend to go for, and it’s something where if I had the time, I would probably enjoy diving into it repeatedly.

For this playthrough, however, I’ll admit that I grabbed a walkthrough after my first few tries. That created some odd back and forth to work around inventory limits, but at least showed me how to get past the nutrition limits.

What I got at that point was that the story, so far at least, might not have been that amazing. The real value is in the game’s worldbuilding, taking you through a weird alien castle (with some odd injokey rooms) and having you explore the base. For that, it’s good fun at least, even if it feels like a lot of work to get through.

Final Thoughts

I am really intrigued by interactive fiction, but at this point the game feels quite harsh and unsuited for the casual exploration I like to do. It’s a nice world to dive into, just with some flaws.