Rogue Three by bitmanTitle Screen
November was a surprisingly strong month for Z2, with quite a number of ZZT games uploaded. Two shined out from the rest; Snuffalufucos' interesting engine Tank Wars and oldbie bitman's Rogue Three. This was a rather difficult decision, but oldbie skill surpassed newbie zeal and Rogue Three is November's MadTom's Pick.Village Near a river
An admittedly rather pretentious sci-fi-cum-RPG, Rogue Three boasts very good playable board graphics (though no art boards except for the title screen, which was very disappointing), intelligent programming, and effective and variable AI enemies. You are evidently on some world named Rogue Three, alternating between the perspectives of different characters as the game progresses; Lance the town scribe, Thrae (a deliberate anagram of 'earth', I think), his friend, Darren, a fellow villager, and Julia, an inhabitant of a small village that you pass on your travels.
bitman implemented game variation quite well; perspectives of individual characters and choices one makes early in the game make a difference to exactly how events turn out. He also made the best music seen thus far on MadTom's Pick, some sounding appropriately medievial.Pretentious puzzle u saevd teh day :)
I was very impressed by bitman's puzzle design; reminding me of his masterpiece of years gone by, Stratego. Wisely, he decided to include a solution to the puzzle in his help file, while tentatively suggesting there may be other ways to solve it.
The plot, admittedly, is dull. Some of the characters are rather hollow, and as Zenith Nadir said I must agree the ending was somewhat sudden and very oblique. I realise that there are loopholes in the game which enable one to unwittingly miss out on important parts of the plot development.
No art boards; disappointing. This game really could've used it. That said, the playable-board graphics are most certainly well above average, and in part make up for this inadequacy.
Some flaws, but despite its disjointed execution the game is certainly not boring and definitely worth a play.
7 / 10