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Game #5197
Hall of Belated Fame Inductee  All Things Devours    View all Top Dogs in this genreCollection: IF Competition Favorites
Interactive Fiction   Conventional

Rating: 8.42 (7 votes)

All Things Devours box cover

All Things Devours screenshot
All Thing Devours is a superb trial-and-error science fiction game that ranks among one of the most ingenious text adventures ever made. The [The puzzle framework] is mostly based on the idea of time-travelling; sure, there are enough text adventures using this concept (beginning with the classic Sorcerer by Infocom), but scarcely any implementing it as consistent and consequent. And I use the term "framework" on purpose: the whole game is built around and determined by constructing a sequence of actions leading to success. (There are multiple paths to victory, by the way.) While doing that, the player has to account for a number of time-travel side effects and paradoxes, some of which he can use to his benefit, while others are to avoid. It was a real thrill.

In fact, it was so much of a thrill that another feature some IF-purists might consider to be a drawback almost escaped my attention: in order to reach the winning ending, you'd need a few restarts -- a rather typical case of "learning from dying". Well, personally, I don't have anything against such a game device, but since modern IF-standards (whoever wrote 'em ;) generally don't countenance it I've had to mention it here.

Initially, I also was going to nag at the fact that the protagonist hadn't got a single chance to succeed in such a situation unless she was a clairvoyant, because a few strategic choices in the early stages of the game had to be made based on information she only would acquire later. However, a couple additional test playthroughs convinced me I had been wrong about it; there actually exists a way to victory that doesn't require the gift of foresight -- our PC merely has to be blessed with such abilities as ultra-fast acting and decision-making, an extraordinary analytical mind capable of calculating several moves ahead, and a memory as precise as that of a computer, all that combined with nerves of steel, as well as a thorough knowledge of the research complex. Of course, this all strains things a bit; still, there's nothing supernatural about the talents listed above. [In] my opinion, the very existence of such a "non-contradicting" way to victory represents another proof for the vast amount of thought and efforts that have flown into All Things Devours.

To sum up, this is a great game constructed around a very well thought-out and carefully implemented puzzle skeleton; the combination with the very original use of time-travelling effects makes it unique and therefore an absolute must to play."

Reviewed by: Underdogs
Designer: Toby Ord
Developer: Freeware
Publisher: Freeware
Year: 2004
Software Copyright: Toby Ord
Theme: Science Fiction
None that we know of
System Requirements:  
Where to get it:
Related Links: Official site
If you like this game, try: Rematch, Recruit, The, Glowgrass

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