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Ground Zero - Review

Review by Sudders


Last edited:

This adventure was a first for me as it was set during the cold war (pretty much when it was written and when I grew up) and is about the nuclear attack that everyone feared was imminent. A quite serious premise and it is quite serious in tone.
The adventure takes place in your house the environs and a nearby town.
I have to say that I really wasn't looking forward to this one, but after getting into it I ended up really enjoying it. The challenge is just enough to keep you going and there are some real twists to be had.
I would discuss them but I don't want to give anything away, but there are many mistakes you can make with knock on consequences that don't manifest themselves until later.
A really enjoyable game despite the dark outlook and one that is very satisfying to complete.

Parser/Vocabulary (Rating: 6/10)

Typical Artic parser, functional.

Atmosphere (Rating: 10/10)

Scary, serious, dark, I can keep firing up adjectives here. You feel a genuine tingle of trepidation when the attack is near!

Cruelty (Rating: Nasty)

Lots of deaths, but some also plenty of ways to get past a point and realise that you are trapped. You will definitely need to start again a few times after forgetting some important point.
There is one fascinating mistake you can make which changes numerous room descriptions and leaves you doomed. I didn't even realised what I'd done at first and was very pleased to find a solution.

Puzzles (Rating: 8/10)

Some major issues here in that a cupboard in the Entrance Hall isn't mentioned. This actually renders the game impossible. Fortunately I had read a review here.

I stopped before the spoilers, but it allowed me to realise that something was amiss before getting too involved.
examine garage too is a rather unusual but necessary command.
There are lots of dead ends, sticky ends and frustrating mistakes to be made. However the puzzles are logical and highly satisfying.

Overall (Rating: 9/10)

I was going to give this game an 8, but reviewing it has made me realise how much I enjoyed it. Look past those two early errors and this is a really atmospheric and enjoyable game.