I finally got around to beating this game without the use of the hint file! It was not easy and there were certainly some frustrating moments. Luckily there are some options to make your game easier for when you seem stuck. And I guess there's the hint file too if you are pulling your hair out.
The use of the inventory engine is top-notch. Best use of inventory I've ever seen. The puzzle sequences are a blast.
I wasn't a big fan of most of the action scenes though. The sidescroller in Burns's ending infuriated me (I was not able to complete this ending).
The game's dialog is absolutely hilarious. I think the only real letdown was Nyarlethole at the end. It makes sense, but I wasn't expecting something this cheesy. The very final board is the only saving grace for the ending - I totally forgot about him!
The graphics are very well done. I think there were some parts of the game that could've done with a little extra coding in order to make changes on the board a little neater, but that's a nitpick. The static graphics are very pleasing. Check out Sweeneyland's detail, wow.
A must-play. I strongly suggest picking Cleatle on File 4, unless you like pulling your hair out.
which is just my opinion, although this is a can't miss. Good thing Gore didn't get this game before the election: I almost guarantee we would've had a random "Hairball ballot"...
This is probably my favorite ZZT game ever. It combines the best elements of all ZZT games to create an instant classic. Also, note that it has virtually no swearing, (except for the frenchman saying demm, which I don't really count) thus appealing to a wider audience.
Graphics are superb, particularly Zenith's, whose art I have a distinct taste for, though the other art is just as good.
The music, at least, what I heard of it, because I sometimes turn the sound off, was great, except for the rap, which was intended to be annoying, and the Sartorio battle theme, for which I was very grateful to have an "off switch."
The gameplay was great, utilising a vast web of technology explained in the ZZT Encyclopedia. Personally, _I_ didn't find any of the action sequences annoying. And the puzzles! They were pure delight.
Story was superb, and one of the best to come out in a looonnngg time. The only part I found slightly dissapointing was the end, where Nyarlethole reveals his secret identity.
Basically, this game rocks, and whoever thinks it doesn't has serious problems. I highly recommend that you download it, if you haven't already.
An amazing ZZT game with great writing, fun gameplay, good music, imoressive graphics, and a story that is creative and employs many good twists. It got a little confusing at parts, but it was a great game overall. The "Look into my eyes" song was nice and catchy too.
This game makes Appliance say...
One of the best ZZT games in the gameplay. Using the inventory engine most of the time, it kept me going for a while. Music is okay (better than moast zzt games I have played).
It's one of the best.
Look, I don't want to spend my whole afternoon wirting about this game(I certainly could), so I'm just going to cut to the chase. . . .
This is the best ZZT game ever.
Well, that's my opinion. If you want a review, look somewhere else.
Well, ESP is obviously one of the better games around. But no game without scientific counting...
Graphics: neat and creative. 1pt Plot: holy scientific sh* 1pt Music: It has music, not even bad music, but I guess ZZT doesn't know mp3. No reason to complain. 1pt Playability. Among the plot parts you can still play enough, it plays easy and doesn't need that much of thinking... 1pt Programming: no bugs, everything neatly put away. EXCEPT FOR ME FOOL PROOF. Got that? no? 1pt
and since 1+1+1+1+1 = 4.5 I Give this superb game a :
Perhaps one of the best games for ZZT I've ever played. It most certainly ranks up there with Red Alert, Nightmare, Pop, LST... I'll stop there. This game is a joy to play through, and an ending that left me laughing and sad at the same times. I'm sorry, sob. It's so true!
ESP is a game that has been anticipated for a long time. Does it hold up to the hype?
Yes. Altough I was disapointed slightly. Because this is a massive game, (4 files) I'm going to have to resort to dividing up the review into sections.
Story: The premise is very clever, and it's one thing to have a clever premise, it's another to be able to follow through with it to the end. Wells, who is known for his attention to writing, can support his bark with his bite. The game is layered and while some of the things within the game become absurd and seem to have little to do with the main point, it all flows and aids in creating a world where it might be possible that a group of Sorcerers might take over and hypnotise people to win an election. Sometimes however things get to detracted and by the time you get back to the main story, you're confused as to what had been going on. The sections in between are as wordy as the main plot and while it maintains the writing standard that is somewhat expected, though not entirely necessary, it puts much between the main theme of the game and the side parts.
Gameplay: For a game thick with story ESP still squeezes out a good amount of gameplay. You can skip a lot of it and you can also cheat to great degree as allowed by the programmer. The engines were well done for the most part. The RPG battle was a little stale albiet humourous. (On a separate note the boat ride was similar to one my airplane engines hehe:)) The shooting game play plays a bit weak and some scenes incorperate stars which in my opinion should be avoided at _almost_ all costs. In general though the gameplay, while varied, was not totally entertaining, skipping it seemed wrong though and I felt left out of the action of the game. The fact that you switched between characters was a good feature though that added depth to both the gameplay and the story.
Music: I think I might be the only one to notice that the title screen music was a poor rendition of "VGA Trek". The music was very good in some parts and annoying in other parts. But there was music throughout which while a feature for most games to-day, is hardly the standard for ZZT games.
Graphics: Ranged from awesome to radical. There was depth, perspective. Some of the best graphics I've seen in ZZT and even better than some MZX games. The combination of artisits is noticible but does not detract from te game at all.
Overall: The graphics and the story make up the brunt of the "game". Given the option of being able to skip a lot of the playing parts, it plays more like an interactive movie. This is the problem with ZZT, get too involved in story and it's hard to make the game a game. ESP is one of the best things to come around in a while, but there are still better games out there. I'd give it a five for the sake of effort on the parts of all the programming writing and drawing, but if that's what earns a movie five stars, The Core will sweep the Oscars next time around.
I was going to write up something anyway, but I guess I'll dedicate this review in the name of Funk! =.
NOW GIMME BACK MY "NO SOLICITORS" SIGN. AND THAT BOX FULL OF KITTENS
ESP is a large story-based ZZT game with several snippits of gameplay interspersed; sometimes it's an inventory game, sometimes it's an action game, and once or twice it's even both.
The game's strongest point is the writing. The descriptions are verbose enough to please while the The humor (in my horrible opinion; rating humor is a purely subjective task) ranged from slightly droll to pretty amusing; nothing was horrible save for what was intended to be horrible (well, except maybe the horse joke). The plot, while truthfully less relevant than it was when Wells originally started work on ESP, was implemented very well. It involves a tricky man named Cleatle who sneaks into the Protest Party headquarters and suggests confuddling up the ballot system to gain more votes. Despite his means of entering, he's inducted into the Protest Party and is sent out to get the ballot scanned. The rest clumps together in an odd mess from there on, and I'd rather not give out plot points on a strongly written game when the game itself does ton(ne)s better.
Oh, let me point out that I noticed two typos thoughout playing the game. TWO. Considering there's enough text to fill at least a novelette and _especially_ considering that this is a homebrewed game, that's about as likely as ...ah hell, I can't come up with a simile that won't make me sound elitist. :< But you get the picture!
As for the gameplay, the inventory game was well-programmed. Several (and I mean SEVERAL) specific but pointless inventory reactions were put in. Also, some of the puzzles were pretty devious. (I ended up using the help file twice; once to get that pocketwatch and the other because I was blind and couldn't see a docked boat.)
The action scenes are widly varying; they range from simple bullet evasion to a run'n'gun type game. About the only flaw is the large head start you can get in the first minigame, but that's nothing game-destroying.
(For those of you just in for the story, pretty much all of the action scenes can be skipped over.)
The artwork thoughout is quite sharp. Funk contributed to the first file; Zenith to the second and fourth; Rob_P to the third. The art styles, while abviously varying from artist to artist, didn't conflict heavily enough to cause problems.
It's nice, really! I was expecting good things from this game, and I'm glad that I wasn't disappointed. It's the first ZZT game I bothered to download in quite a while.
Reviewed: Feb 9, 2023
Rating: out of 5.0 This user has opted out of providing a numeric rating