Six Silver Bullets

We wake up in a hotel room knowing only that we are the Silver Agent. We remember nothing else. Here is our weapon, a silver gun with six silver bullets. And here's a yellow note from the Yellow Agent telling us what our mission is. The mission consists of four parts, each changing randomly from game to game; there's some suggestion that there's some weird Twilight Zone-ish force at work, and that each time we "restart" the game, it's actually the same character being resurrected to try the whole thing all over again with a bunch of things switched around. Nothing is quite what it seems, and the use of knowledge gleaned from previous playthroughs actually feels somehow justified.

It's a phenomenally neat concept.

There are a couple of flaws in the implementation, though. For one thing, the parser's rather picky, especially when in conversation with someone else. I noted a couple of times where "Ask about [something]" wasn't understood, but "Ask about the [something]" was. It's as if the author wrote up several of the key verb-noun actions as ... incantations, if you will. The game doesn't understand these particular actions as verbs coupled with nouns, but as strings of letters, and you better get them all right. And then, after offering a bunch of possible conversation topics, half of them seem to be unimplemented. On one occasion, I found myself in a conversation with no way of getting out -- and the game insists that you leave an "encounter" properly before doing anything else. It got a bit frustrating.

Still, the writing was interesting. As a secret agent, our view of the world looks like a series of quickly jotted notes: nouns of interest, listed objectively. It's pretty effective. And the various agents all seem to have their own stories and connections to us, and their own personalities as well. Except perhaps the Blue Agent, who I suspect is only our own paranoia being projected onto the local police force.

I imagine this breakfast as kind of like a Western omelette that's gotten unfortunately stuck to the pan. The ingredients are good and it's still delicious, but the execution's gone a bit wrong and you'll have to proceed carefully. The accompanying tea is on the tepid side: stir vigorously or the sugar will all end up at the bottom of the cup.