Irvine Quik & the Search for the Fish of Traglea
for Interpreter (Adrift)

Mr Creosote:
Company: Duncan Bowsman
Year: 2012
Genre: Adventure
Theme: Fighting / Humour / Science Fiction / Text-based
Language: English
Licence: Freeware
Views: 12032
Review by Mr Creosote (2012-11-12)

Irvine Quik (the person) is a freshly recruited space cadet, the classic bumbling anti-hero who saves the world in spite of himself. Consequently, Irvine Quik, the game, is humourous Adventure game with a science fiction theme and some lightweight, but in places imaginative puzzles. The game starts out with an introductory sequence introducing the general gameplay and the game's special mechanics (both for the sake of replayability thankfully optional). The latter being Irvines robotic companion HiRBy whose extendible arms will become a helpful in the course of the game.

What follows is a a deliberately whacky run through various science fiction genre clichés, from reversing something's polarity in order to solve whatever imminent problem to a megalomaniac dictator trying to enslave the galaxy. The plot in general as well as the jokes rely on the scattershot method of writing: Shoot as much as you have in all directions and hope that something will stick. Which works well enough in the humour department unless anyone expects a really coherent plot.

Where this does not work all that well is the gameplay, though. It, also, is a wild mixture of different elements which appear to be too numerous and varying for the relatively small overall size of the game. Remember HiRBy? After he's been introduced, you will need him… twice. Most of the time, he's just there without fulfilling any function. As if one special feature in the game weren't enough, the player also learns some special form of Karate halfway through the game which is then applied in the endgame against the evil overlord's minions. All that mixed in between more traditional object-based puzzles.

It's all quite entertaining, but it shows the importance of scale: If you've got many ideas, your game has to be large enough to contain them. The ship landing scene shows how even a small game easily take a lot of contents: Here, the game offers various alternative solutions which is not just beginner-friendly, but also encourages exploration in general. A very good way to start a game with a motivational boost! After that, though, things become more linear and the ideas jump in too small a space. It really should have been bigger – and that is meant as praise, because it's much more common to find the opposite case of a game overstaying its welcome.

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