Game Review: Crash (2022, Phil Riley)

Here you are, a member of the Repair Corps.  When a spaceship docks at Space Station Omicron-5, your job is to repair the appliances and make sure that everything is in ship-shape condition while the crew relaxes and does whatever they have to do on the station.

It’s like they say in the song:

Just another face in a red jumpsuit.
He did a good job cleaning up the place,
But his bosses didn’t like him
So they shot him into space.

Except, in this case, it’s not your bosses who send you into space.  Instead, it’s the fact that the space station explodes while you’re getting ready to leave the ship!  Now, the ship is hurtling through space and you’re the only one who can figure out the proper way to stop it before it crashes.

Crash is a classic-style text adventure, programmed with my favorite Interactive Fiction development system, Inform.  What that means is that you pretty much have complete control over what the main character does on the ship.  Walk where you want to walk.  Examine what you want to examine.  Try what you want to try.  Just know that time is running out.  Crash is well-written but it’s also puzzle-heavy.  That won’t be a problem for most people but, for someone like me who sucks at puzzles, it can be daunting.  Fortunately, the game comes with a built-in hint system.  Also, when you’re usually terrible at puzzles, that means you feel even more triumphant when you actually manage to solve one of them.

(Even if you did have to ask for a lot of hints.)

Be sure to ask the computer a lot of questions.  This game has an in-depth backstory and it’s actually interesting to learn all of it.  You’re just a repairman but suddenly, you’re in the middle of a galactic conflict.  It’s the sort of set-up that has led to many classic sci-fi tales.

Play Crash.

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