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July 7, 2008

A Short Review of Vespers

Emily Short has finally had the chance to play the original IF version of Vespers, and has a nice review of it up on her blog.

Short, of course, has tremendous experience playing, writing, and writing about a wide range of IF pieces, and her reviews are insightful and well-informed. I was a bit surprised to learn a while back that she had never played Vespers, and I wondered if she would get around to it one day. Gladly, that day has come. Her review is a good read, focusing largely on the game's effective use of plot construction:

"To my surprise, what I found most interesting about Vespers was its construction, its success at arranging events and making characters take action; it has a lot of plot, but avoids the excessively linear feel of many high-plot-content games. The way it works is mostly neat sleight-of-hand."


In the comments, I prompted her to say a few words about the game's conversation system and its multiple endings, which brought up some interesting points about the role of coercion in the game, its relationship to sin, and its impact on both the player and the protagonist (the Abbot). As well as I know the game at this point, I have to say I learned a bit more about it today.

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