“Space Punk Moon Tour” is a parser-based program game involving a teenager’s space flight to see a band she likes.
Gameplay: There’s a wide variety of objects and characters to interact with in the game, although most of them are not useful to the story and merely provide flavor. The protagonist has clear goals, but the puzzles and NPC interactions involved in pursuing those goals are sometimes opaque. Combined with the guess-the-verb problems, I found it difficult to make progress in the game. 5/10.
Mechanics: It’s often unclear how to proceed in the game, with some of the puzzles being a bit unmotivated. The protagonist can’t leave her house until she’s packed, but the game never indicates exactly what she’s missing; it turns out that she wants to take her cat with her. She can’t leave the subway until she accomplishes a certain task, but what that task is never revealed until she stumbles into it; it turns out that a friend of hers is standing barefoot nearby, and she needs to give him a pair of her boots. She needs to befriend a clerk in order to get a special dispensation for her cat, but there aren’t many clues about what he would like; it turns out that one of the books she’s carrying is on a subject he’s interested in. I may have missed something obvious, but the convenient in-game hint system (operating under the conceit of texting a friend of the protagonist’s for help) didn’t reveal any such clues either. 4/10.
Presentation: The setting is one in the near future with some cyperpunk elements, especially its aesthetics, added. It’s familiar enough to be realistic without being overly familiar, and it helps the story develop. I ran into a few guess-the-verb issues while playing the game, particularly in trying to take the sleeping pills. (TAKE, EAT, CONSUME, and USE all failed; the acceptable syntax I eventually found was POP PILL WITH WATER.) The author provides illustrations for the game to accompany the text. It’s also worth noting that the site the game is hosted on is flaky (through no fault of the author’s), and I had trouble getting far into the game. Take the author’s advice and play it offline. 5/10.
You might be interested in this game if: You like cyberpunk-flavored games.