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5 Days A Stranger - Brilliant.


Mark E
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Adventure games didn't die, they just went underground.

 

Let's face it, adventure games are on the critical list to an extent RPGs never even dreamed of reaching back during the day when it was slim pickings for that particular genre.

 

But freeware homebrew adventure games are alive and well and I just played two corkers.

 

5 Days A Stranger is the story of Trilby, gentleman thief. One night he makes his mark on the deserted DeFoe with the intent to get in and get out with some quick loot. Naturally nothing in that last sentence ends up being true.

 

If you don't mind old school graphics (and hell, I LOVE 'em, reminds me of the old SCI Sierra days circa Police Quest 2 and Space Quest 3) and like adventure games and even better, creepy as shit horror titles, this puppy's for you. I'm saying very little to not give spoilers, but this game's well worth your time. It takes about three hours to complete if your brain cells are going full tilt.

 

Enough puzzles to make you feel like you're doing something (and a couple of dead clever ones to boot) plus interesting dialogue, characterization, and a neat little ending. Effective use of music too. The designer knew what he was doing when he put this one together.

 

7 Days A Skeptic is the follow-up to 5 Days and it's quite a thematic shift. Again, I'll be deliberately vague here simply because I want to hopefully get people to check these babies out :P. 7 Days is not as tight as its predecessor, there are a couple of timed puzzles you need to figure out and one in particular has an obscure solution that I would be shocked if anybody got without looking it up simply because it's completely counter-intuitive.

 

Conversely, 7 Days layers on the atmosphere like the first game and then tightens the screws up another notch. The deaths are much vicious, the shocks are more, well, shocking. These are horror titles, make no mistake. They are bloody and though mostly benign and settling for the creepy as hell atmosphere they can be quite graphic (there's one corker of a HOLY SHIT scene towards the end of 7 Days).

 

Anybody who likes the old LucasArts titles, or Sierra titles, and doesn't mind gore, or even LIKES gore for that matter, would do well to check these babies out. My only caveat would be that you may find the ending of 7 Days shocking, but not in a good way. Bit of a let-down and one that really begs for a third game to wrap the series up properly. Up to that point it was utterly fantastic. Both games have great characters and genuinely freaky moments.

 

Both titles can be found at the author's website:

 

http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/games.htm

 

Lemme put it this way, I never donate to anything online, but I'm sending this guy a few bucks via Paypal. Best traditional adventure games released in years.

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  • 4 months later...

Just to let you all know, since... uh.... well, I'm interested in it ;).

 

If you go to http://www.fullyramblomatic.com and hit the 5 Days site and make a PayPal donation of $5 or more you get access to the special edition of 5 Days, which includes an author's commentary for the entire game. Plus the game's soundtrack as a MIDI file, some concept sketches, and a new 'Interview' scene.

 

I'll post up my thoughts when I have a second to replay the game and see how it stacks up :). I'm a sucker for commentary in any format.

 

Edit - Played through a bit this morning, the commentary for this game is fascinating and very well done. Yahtzee, the designer, points out lots of choices he made along the way and it's really something the work that he put into a so-called amateur homebrew game. Very critical of his own work as well so it's not exactly him praising his game to death.

 

The interview is short but hilarious to boot.

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  • 4 weeks later...

For those of you who may be so interested, the sequel to 5 Days A Stranger, 7 Days A Skeptic, now has a Special Edition of its own, along with the commentary that will quickly slide it into the must-own category for myself.

 

It's 5 bucks for the SE, same as it was for the original 5 Days. I'll post my impressions after I play through it again, solely to increase the post count to this thread :D

 

http://www.fullyramblomatic/7days

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Played through 7 Days again, as promised.

 

Didn't take too long :)

 

Not bad, the commentary is pretty interesting, especially in terms of explaining the game's ending, which isn't quite as half-assed as I once thought. The 5 Days commentary was indeed better, but that probably is to be expected since 5 Days is a far better game. 7 Days isn't horrible, but it has some design issues.

 

Glad to support homebrew games though, and very pleased that I now have special editions of two fun adventure titles :tu

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Yep, there's a point 'n click interface similar to the old VGA Sierra games (with graphics like the old EGA games, ironically :)).

 

If you like that style of adventure, they're definitely worth a look. Especially, as noted, 5 Days A Stranger.

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Finished 5 Days and thouroughly enjoyed it! I'm planning on giving 7 Days a spin soon.

 

While playing through, (huge spoiler)

I was trying to figure out if there would be a "twist" to the ending, and considered that Matthew's twin might have been a GIRL, i.e. Simone. When Jim was telling the story of Phil's death, it sounded like something that Simone could have put together. But then again, that doesnt tie everything up nicely like the game's real eding does!

Loved it all the way through.

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Nice thought though :).

 

Glad you enjoyed it, Cameron. I consider my work here to be good then ;).

 

If you have a spare fiver sitting around for the Special Edition, Yahtzee's commentary is really quite interesting and makes the game worth a second playthrough :tu

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  • 1 year later...

Just thought I'd bump this back to the top because Yahtzee just released a new game - Trilby's Notes. It fills in the gaps between 5 Days A Stranger and its sequel, 7 Days A Skeptic by showing just how one game leads into the other.

 

Reportedly it also sets up a fourth and final game in the series to boot. The interesting thing here is that the game has a text parser, like the old school Sierra games from back in the day. That should prove interesting ;).

 

The game is here for those who need a dose of old-school freeware adventuring: http://www.fullyramblomatic.com/notes/

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No problemo. I just finished Trilby's Notes tonight and damn it was fantastic. The storyline is magnificent and the new horror in this one is one of the scariest damn creations I've seen in a game in ages. Few people can do a horror game as well as Ben Croshaw, period.

 

Anybody who likes adventure games and horror should be giving this series a try.

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