A Stranger reviews :: The Fall(en) [updated]

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A Stranger Reviews...

The Fall(en)

___________...an indie game by Cleril

There's something about Indie games which really appeals to me, they are often unimaginably creative in ways that mainstream games can only ever dream of. They are forced to be new and interesting in order to be recognised, as indie game developers usually lack the funds or will to advertise the game. I'm sure most of you will remember World of Goo and N, both immensely fun games, N was even freeware so it made the rounds quickly due to this, but also due to its smooth gameplay and hundreds of challenging levels. So what else can you do to attract people to your very own indie game that you've spent hours of your life on? Well, you can get someone to review it as the Escapist's very own Cleril asked me to.

What sort of game is The Fall(en)? I would argue that it isn't really a game, it's one of a growing collection of 'interactive experiences' that have been cropping up recently. In this genre gameplay is usually negligible as, well there isn't any. Your job is to guide said character through his/her story and alter the consequences based on your decisions. Some do this very well, while others treat it as a movie but with 'click to go forwards' parts and still trying to pass it off as an actual game to attract unaware surfers of the web.

To jump or not to jump...

now there's a question you're

going to have to answer

The Fall(en), which is now going to be written without the brackets for both our sakes, changes this formula slightly. It pits you as a man standing on the edge of the cliff debating whether or not to jump. You are given a series of options for your character to elaborate on, which lead onto other options ans so on and so forth until you reach your conclusion as whether to jump or to walk away. Playtime then, varies drastically depending on the person playing the 'game', the more impatient of you will make a decision straight away, thus ending the game instantly but the rest will delve further into the mind of the nameless character we're faced with. The maximum game time you will be looking at is 20 minutes, including replaying it to find out more about the man you are given control over. So if you are looking for a game to waste a day or two on then The Fallen definitely isn't the game for you.

The main driving force for the player is to find out why this man is contemplating suicide and what happened that made his life so miserable. The satisfaction that can be derived from this game is the slow unravelling of the man's story; since every person will receive these pieces of information in a different order so it is up to you, the player, to figure out the whole story for yourself. It is a nice feeling indeed, to play a game that doesn't treat you like a retard. The story is not classic standard but it is well done none-the-less, the story is broken up with interesting bits of philosophy which give it depth and also give us a greater understanding of the unfortunate man. My guess is that some of these reflect Cleril's own ideas as some are very well thought over, while others sometimes come across as just melancholious nonsense.

"It's nice to play

a game that doesn't

treat you like a retard"

This being an indie game created in a short period of time using graphics downloaded from the internet (the game folder contains hundreds of graphics not used in The Fallen so this is based on assumption) the graphics boil down to standard 8-bit with square scenery and it isn't even that well done, but as the narrative is the games main focus this can be forgiven. The sound however, is another story. Music, as many of you know, is a great tool to use when you want to convey emotion. The only music in-game is the rolling of waves which set the scene very well but it would have been nice to have a few simple minor-key piano pieces (for example) at the points where you either jump or walk away. This would definitely leave a greater effect on the player, which is ultimately what this game is about.

But should you play this game? If you are interested by what I've been talking about then it is not too much hassle to download it. But if you want challenge or excitement I suggest you look elsewhere as this is more of an experience than a game. While this game is most certainly not a must play it is worth a look and I certainly enjoyed the 20 minutes I wasted away on it.

If you want to play the game (or 'interactive experience' whatever you prefer) : http://www.mediafire.com/?3zn1zmtdzw0

My thoughts after doing this: I have indeed realised that I was asked to do this as a sort of advertisement, which is why Cleril asked those involved in the Indie Review contest to review his games and since then has probably asked many others, I'm the only one of these who has been bored enough to attempt it. While I do like this game I hope that he takes in my (or anyone else's) criticisms as there is still a lot that he could improve on as these types of games have to be perfect. This was not submitted to the contest as it is too late to do so. Thanks for your time, be sure to leave a comment with any thoughts.

I'm told by Mr. Cleril that this game has a trailer.


Although I don't really think this is necessary for this game, as you cannot give anything away in the trailer without ruining the whole game for anyone who's watch it. What you can see in this trailer is the basic premise of the game and also its RPGmaker graphics. This trailer is fairly useless at conveying the depth that this game has, anyway enjoy

Oh and I would really love to have some feeback ...Anyone?

hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

Aww trust mediafire, there so nice :D lol

Stranger of Sorts:

Oh and I would really love to have some feeback ...Anyone?

I love the style, and personally, I woulda revived Haven as (no offense to Cleril) there is more text in the review than in the game.

*Darktau apologies to cleril for not betatesting enough*

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

I scanned the madiafire page and the download and there weren't any viruses to be found so you should be alright.

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

There's no viruses or any other crap in the game downloads. It's just freeware.

Darktau:

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

Aww trust mediafire, there so nice :D lol

Stranger of Sorts:

Oh and I would really love to have some feeback ...Anyone?

I love the style, and personally, I woulda revived Haven as (no offense to Cleril) there is more text in the review than in the game.

*Darktau apologies to cleril for not betatesting enough*

Eh, I said Haven is an abandoned project not because I don't want to work on it but because I can't. As my first game I didn't know how to use variables and self-switches, to be honest. Therefore Haven is conrolled almost entirely through switches and none of them are in any order so you've got The Jester quests switches with Greg's switches as well as main quest switches with conversation switches and....it's too difficult to work with that mess.

Besides, I'm making Haven 2, which will be better than Haven based on what I've done with the feedback from the reviews.

As for this review of The Fall(en) I had messages Stranger of sorts with my thoughts but if I wanted to share them with the rest of the community it's that Stranger of Sorts gets the game perfectly right. In fact, I made this game out of boredom at the time from working on Haven. I do plan to make an expansion of sorts for The Fall(en), letting you play as a relative of the nameless character, due to everyone liking The Fall(en) as is.

From a reviewer standpoint Stranger of Sorts is an excellent reviewer, the language is strong and the flow is solid throughout. You could say that I'm just saying that since he reviewed my game but I mean that compliment in all honesty from a reviewer's stand point.

If anyone wants to play any other games made by me (There's 6 total projects I'm working on, The Fall(en) included) just message me.

Cleril:

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

There's no viruses or any other crap in the game downloads. It's just freeware.

Darktau:

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

Aww trust mediafire, there so nice :D lol

Stranger of Sorts:

Oh and I would really love to have some feeback ...Anyone?

I love the style, and personally, I woulda revived Haven as (no offense to Cleril) there is more text in the review than in the game.

*Darktau apologies to cleril for not betatesting enough*

Eh, I said Haven is an abandoned project not because I don't want to work on it but because I can't. As my first game I didn't know how to use variables and self-switches, to be honest. Therefore Haven is conrolled almost entirely through switches and none of them are in any order so you've got The Jester quests switches with Greg's switches as well as main quest switches with conversation switches and....it's too difficult to work with that mess.

Besides, I'm making Haven 2, which will be better than Haven based on what I've done with the feedback from the reviews.

As for this review of The Fall(en) I had messages Stranger of sorts with my thoughts but if I wanted to share them with the rest of the community it's that Stranger of Sorts gets the game perfectly right. In fact, I made this game out of boredom at the time from working on Haven. I do plan to make an expansion of sorts for The Fall(en), letting you play as a relative of the nameless character, due to everyone liking The Fall(en) as is.

From a reviewer standpoint Stranger of Sorts is an excellent reviewer, the language is strong and the flow is solid throughout. You could say that I'm just saying that since he reviewed my game but I mean that compliment in all honesty from a reviewer's stand point.

If anyone wants to play any other games made by me (There's 6 total projects I'm working on, The Fall(en) included) just message me.

Thanks man, I was wondering when you'd show your face.

Stranger of Sorts:

Cleril:

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

There's no viruses or any other crap in the game downloads. It's just freeware.

Darktau:

SgtSkullfuck:
hey just found this. I dont trust mediafire but if u still have the winrar of this could u email it to me?

i will give u my email if u reply

Aww trust mediafire, there so nice :D lol

Stranger of Sorts:

Oh and I would really love to have some feeback ...Anyone?

I love the style, and personally, I woulda revived Haven as (no offense to Cleril) there is more text in the review than in the game.

*Darktau apologies to cleril for not betatesting enough*

Eh, I said Haven is an abandoned project not because I don't want to work on it but because I can't. As my first game I didn't know how to use variables and self-switches, to be honest. Therefore Haven is conrolled almost entirely through switches and none of them are in any order so you've got The Jester quests switches with Greg's switches as well as main quest switches with conversation switches and....it's too difficult to work with that mess.

Besides, I'm making Haven 2, which will be better than Haven based on what I've done with the feedback from the reviews.

As for this review of The Fall(en) I had messages Stranger of sorts with my thoughts but if I wanted to share them with the rest of the community it's that Stranger of Sorts gets the game perfectly right. In fact, I made this game out of boredom at the time from working on Haven. I do plan to make an expansion of sorts for The Fall(en), letting you play as a relative of the nameless character, due to everyone liking The Fall(en) as is.

From a reviewer standpoint Stranger of Sorts is an excellent reviewer, the language is strong and the flow is solid throughout. You could say that I'm just saying that since he reviewed my game but I mean that compliment in all honesty from a reviewer's stand point.

If anyone wants to play any other games made by me (There's 6 total projects I'm working on, The Fall(en) included) just message me.

Thanks man, I was wondering when you'd show your face.

I usually wait for a few responses before I show up, see what others thoughts are.

Downloading now. It sounds like an interesting premise/concept so I'll take a look.

Stranger, a short and sweet review overall.

Edit: After a couple of quick playthroughs of the game, I felt the dialogue was sappy, pretentious and a bit cliche'. I don't think I'll be playing it again.

Maybe it's more my intolerance of depression than anything else, but that's just how I felt about the game.

starfox444:
Downloading now. It sounds like an interesting premise/concept so I'll take a look.

Stranger, a short and sweet review overall.

Edit: After a couple of quick playthroughs of the game, I felt the dialogue was sappy, pretentious and a bit cliche'. I don't think I'll be playing it again.

Maybe it's more my intolerance of depression than anything else, but that's just how I felt about the game.

Hm, never thought I made him sound depressed. The idea was to make logic out of suicide, from the character's perspective. It was not meant to be depressing but I can see how a game about suicide can do that.

Cleril:

starfox444:
Downloading now. It sounds like an interesting premise/concept so I'll take a look.

Stranger, a short and sweet review overall.

Edit: After a couple of quick playthroughs of the game, I felt the dialogue was sappy, pretentious and a bit cliche'. I don't think I'll be playing it again.

Maybe it's more my intolerance of depression than anything else, but that's just how I felt about the game.

Hm, never thought I made him sound depressed. The idea was to make logic out of suicide, from the character's perspective. It was not meant to be depressing but I can see how a game about suicide can do that.

It's more or less the tone I took out of it, so it's not really under your control as a creator. So I imagine on your end, it's hard to control the tone the player will take out of what is being read.

If you could find a good voice actor, that might give the effect you intended. But from the way I read it, I imagined the player character was a very sad almost apathetic man.

As far as the review content goes, this is one of those really hard games to review, because it's all content. If you like this style of writing, then you'll like the game, and generally give it a good review. If you don't, you won't, and generally give it a bad review. So, as it stands, you're stating your opinion. Not a lot more can be said about the content but that.

As far as the writing itself, it's pretty cut-and-dry. The placement of the quotes on the side were a little odd. The paragraph they were taken weren't really pulled from the right paragraphs, and it was placed oddly, causing the paragraph around it to be spaced oddly.

Either way, I can't say too much bad about it.

starfox444:

Cleril:

starfox444:
Downloading now. It sounds like an interesting premise/concept so I'll take a look.

Stranger, a short and sweet review overall.

Edit: After a couple of quick playthroughs of the game, I felt the dialogue was sappy, pretentious and a bit cliche'. I don't think I'll be playing it again.

Maybe it's more my intolerance of depression than anything else, but that's just how I felt about the game.

Hm, never thought I made him sound depressed. The idea was to make logic out of suicide, from the character's perspective. It was not meant to be depressing but I can see how a game about suicide can do that.

It's more or less the tone I took out of it, so it's not really under your control as a creator. So I imagine on your end, it's hard to control the tone the player will take out of what is being read.

If you could find a good voice actor, that might give the effect you intended. But from the way I read it, I imagined the player character was a very sad almost apathetic man.

Well I'm sure I could voice act (I did vocals for a song used in a game I'm making) but RPG Maker VX, the program I used to make the game doesn't do well with voice acting. See every line of dialogue would be a sound effect and then I'd have to have said sound effect go off based on what the player chooses. Then I'd have to have the game wait until the voice over is done to let the player continue. Sure I could have the sound stop if the player goes to another text box but it'd turn out sloppy either way due to VX and it's methods of working with sounds like voice overs. It'd also be a pain in the ass. ;)

NewClassic:
As far as the review content goes, this is one of those really hard games to review, because it's all content. If you like this style of writing, then you'll like the game, and generally give it a good review. If you don't, you won't, and generally give it a bad review. So, as it stands, you're stating your opinion. Not a lot more can be said about the content but that.

As far as the writing itself, it's pretty cut-and-dry. The placement of the quotes on the side were a little odd. The paragraph they were taken weren't really pulled from the right paragraphs, and it was placed oddly, causing the paragraph around it to be spaced oddly.

Either way, I can't say too much bad about it.

Thanks for the feedback. I had seen this use of quotes in a newspaper and it seems to break up the wall of text pretty nicely if you don't have pictures. Also, if they're interesting then people who would just skip over the review, straight to the comments will (hopefully) be enticed into reading it. I'll be more careful if I use them again, cheers.

Cleril:
Eh, I said Haven is an abandoned project not because I don't want to work on it but because I can't. As my first game I didn't know how to use variables and self-switches, to be honest. Therefore Haven is conrolled almost entirely through switches and none of them are in any order so you've got The Jester quests switches with Greg's switches as well as main quest switches with conversation switches and....it's too difficult to work with that mess.

Oh man, I know your pain.
But wait- NO SELF SWITCHES?! That means you made a new switch every time you needed to permanently get rid of an event? Whoa... That must've been a mess, considering it's quite a bit longer than my game...
Oh, and I finally ordered windows 7, so I'll be able to finally really play your games in about a week...

OT: Nice review, even more so considering the difficulty of reviewing one of those games. I like the large text-blocks, though probably only because I have no idea how you made them.

TooMiserableToLive:

Cleril:
Eh, I said Haven is an abandoned project not because I don't want to work on it but because I can't. As my first game I didn't know how to use variables and self-switches, to be honest. Therefore Haven is conrolled almost entirely through switches and none of them are in any order so you've got The Jester quests switches with Greg's switches as well as main quest switches with conversation switches and....it's too difficult to work with that mess.

Oh man, I know your pain.
But wait- NO SELF SWITCHES?! That means you made a new switch every time you needed to permanently get rid of an event? Whoa... That must've been a mess, considering it's quite a bit longer than my game...
Oh, and I finally ordered windows 7, so I'll be able to finally really play your games in about a week...

OT: Nice review, even more so considering the difficulty of reviewing one of those games. I like the large text-blocks, though probably only because I have no idea how you made them.

Haven is controlled by (these are exact numbers):

138 switches

7 variables (some are named incorrectly/may not be used, I don't know).

Maybe some things might have self-switches but honestly I'd say nothing is controlled via self-switch.

In comparison The Fall(en) is controlled by:

8 switches (most to have the wind get louder as the fall happens)

Granted Haven has a lot of stuff to do while The Fall(en) is on rails but eh, just to compare two games of mine in terms of efficiency. ;)

Congratulations on upgrading, you'll love it (Windows 7 and the games), trust me.

I thought this was a great review, Stranger. You went on a few tangents that may not be interesting to your audience, but in general you hit everything your audience wants to know and did so without belaboring the point. Well done!

 

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