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Breakers

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Rod Smith & William Mataga

GAME DEVELOPER:Synapse Software

GAME PUBLISHER:Brderbund

Copyright 1985, Synapse Software

One of the very best and most unique interactive fiction titles ever made are 4 “interactive novel” titles from Synapse Software that are extremely hard to find nowadays. Each game is designed by real-life author, and comes with well-written hardbound novella that sets the stage for the game. Breakers is the fourth and final game in this short-lived series.

As with other Synapse games, the plot of Breakers is unique and very interesting: you, as the protagonist, find yourself in the realm of the Breakers, an ancient race with an ominous prophecy that one day a Messiah will come to them… the same day you arrive. Your task is win survival and a ticket home by convincing them that you are the Messiah. The game is very well-written, with a lot of oblique Biblical inferences and metaphors that are expertly weaved into a surrealistic, fantasy mythos. One thing that sets Synapse IF apart is the real-time play– and Breakers is no exception. Many puzzles are time-based, requiring you to make decisions quickly, and the plot will move on if you don’t type anything for too long (although fortunately you must press a key to advance any new text output from the game). Characters are not as well-developed as in, say, Mindwheel, but then again, you don’t need to interact with many of them. Puzzles are challenging, but fair, and require a good deal of patience– you have to wait for the right moment to do most things, as well as FOLLOW people around.

The parser in Breakers is very flexible, and rivals with Infocom’s in terms of vocabulary and intelligence. There’s really nothing bad I can think of about the game– except that some puzzles are too obscure and give you too little time to solve. Definitely a must-have for IF connoisseurs, although those new to the genre may want to try something else first before tackling this challenging epic. Two thumbs up, way up!



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