Many things are considered clichés in the text adventure genre. Every once in a while, a game comes along which embodies so many of these clichés that it is almost not imaginable that it is not supposed to be a meta satire.is such a game. It stumbles from one cliché into the next one with an earnestness that is hard to interpret. Until, at least in one small occasion, it gives things a small ironic spin.
Though what are those clichés whichfalls into? First and foremost, it is a so-called 'escape' game. The protagonist is trapped in a location and it is the ultimate goal to get away from there. In this particular case, the young protagonist Hector is 'trapped' in the care of his aunt and uncle who force him to read his uncle's latest sermon when Hector would much rather go outside into the sun and play. Oh well. What these games usually consist of is the more or less clever physical manipulation of the small game world resulting in the final door to open… and that's it. Which is pretty much exactly what you will find here.
Just that the game, at least at first, attempts to replace some of the physical manipulation with human interaction. On the first glance at least. Only the human characters are, and that is the next cliché, handled exactly like non-autonomous mechanical objects. They react to certain triggers, even in a repeatable way. This is whereattempts to break the fourth wall and explain this in a meta sort of way by declaring all that is happening in the game as a tale told decades later. Not quite successful, but at least a nice attempt.
Gameplay-wise, the construction does not quite work, because the steps necessary for escape have simply been put into the wrong order. The very first one involves simply exhausting all possible conversation options (after, another horrible cliché, noticing 'a glint' on a mantelpiece) which is just extremely tiring and therefore discouraging. The following two puzzles make more sense, even if they, too, are not overly imaginative.
On another level, the game attempts to tell another story aside from the trivial 'escape' theme on an implicit level. It seems to try to make some sort of statement about the innocence and naivety of youth and the older generation reminiscing about past deeds and now being similarly trapped due to the consequences of past actions. There is even a heavy-handed parallel drawn to the protagonist's later life which takes him to the trenches of the first world war. Putting these pieces together as the player by interpreting the fragments of information which the protagonist picks up is probably what the author wanted this game to be about primarily. Though the pieces never really come together in the way of an interesting insight or statement.
So that's that. An enumeration of pieces, both in plot and gameplay, which never comes together as a really coherent whole. The initial scene is plainly discouraging and although it does get better after that, it is also over very quickly. Simple and short in this respect at least means that the game overestimates itself and becomes seriously boring.