Especially compared with other genres of games, interactive fiction has potential for flexibility in its interface and player characters. In “Terminal Interface,” the player interacts with the world by issuing commands to a robot based on feedback provided by its human handler.

Gameplay: Unlike most games’, the player, protagonist, and narrator of this work are all very different. The player issues commands to control a robot or mecha that’s physically in the game environment. The robot itself provides some feedback, but due to an issue with its camera, most of the details of the environment are provided by a human assistant. The plot of the game is straightforward until the ending, and it’s worth replaying. 5/10.

Mechanics:The game is short, with most of it feeling more like a tutorial than a full game. Judging from the game’s title, conceit, and ending, that atmosphere is deliberate; still, it seems like it would have been possible to do more with the robot. I didn’t run into any issues with the parser, though the tagging mechanic might be a bit confusing at first. 5/10.

Presentation: I didn’t notice any significant issues with the text, and the one NPC in the game is characterized well. The game might be described as a one-trick pony, but it’s a worthy trick. 5/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You enjoyed the “Portal” games.

Score: 5

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