Although it’s the sixth in a series that goes back to 1990, this game is the first of the prolific author’s that I’ve played. It’s a solid work that has an original setting and gameplay that feels like an actual adventure, rather than slogging through a series of unrelated puzzles.

Gameplay: Playing the game does feel like being on an adventure, including wandering around the setting and securing supplies. The Adrift interface is a bit clunky (no small part of which is simply my unfamiliarity with it), but otherwise the gameplay is smooth. The main difficulty I had with it is that even with the walkthrough, it’s often difficult to figure out what I should be doing or how to advance the plot. 5/10.

Mechanics: Maybe it was my unfamiliarity with the series, but I found it difficult to know what to do next. There are several guess-the-verb situations (e.g., early in the game, the player must follow the thief by explicitly typing FOLLOW THIEF; trying to do so by choosing an explicit direction fails), and it was unclear in some situations exactly how to proceed despite knowing what to do (e.g., the exact commands needed to interact with the thief’s shelter). The puzzles weren’t so much about manipulating set-piece constructions with inventory items, but rather just about figuring out what to do next. It’s a nice change, and it fits the open adventure style of the game. 5/10.

Presentation: The setting of the game is a historical-fantasy version of North America, in which the protagonist both encounters a pastor with a Dutch accent and wears a ring given to him “by the dwarf Grom on the battlements of Domreil Castle.” It’s a novel and interesting one, but I found it a bit confusing, not having played any of the previous games in the series. I encountered a few typos (e.g., “I don’t understand what you want to do with The [sic] trader.”), and the capitalization of directions in room descriptions is odd, but neither issue significantly detracts from the work. 6/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You’ve played any of the author’s many other games.

Score: 5

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