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From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 1997, Nate Cull

Glowgrass is a worthy third-place winner in the 3rd Annual IF Competition (in 1997– a year when the competition was dominated by sci-fi stories: both The Edifice and Babel, first- and second-place winners, are science fiction). Glowgrass is a refreshing, very well written post-apocalyptic game reminiscent of Planetfall. You are a pilot whose ship has crash-landed amid ruins of an ancient alien civilization on an unknown planet. As you explore the ruins, you will begin to piece together strange technology and small clues that lead to a discovery of how a deadly plague wiped out an entire race.

According to the author, Glowgrass is ?a story, not a puzzle game,? which means puzzles serve more to develop the storyline than confound the players. For the most part, I find the puzzles quite reasonable?I only had trouble in two situations, and simply because I had overlooked some vital clues. Writing in Glowgrass is exceptional?anyone who enjoys Ian Finley?s Babel will find much to like here. Similar to Infocom?s A Mind Forever Voyaging, Glowgrass also makes very effective use of a virtual reality environment, although it could have been fleshed out in more detail. I also like the game?s seriousness ? none of the silliness of Planetfall is here?and a prophetic setting that looks suspiciously more like future Earth than an entirely alien planet.

Overall, Glowgrass is a great sci-fi game that fans of the genre would enjoy. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, which is rather brief and unsatisfying, but other than that, Glowgrass is a great, stylish piece of IF. Two thumbs up!

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