A Moment of Hope / Simmon Keith Barney (1999)

The Annoyomatic 2000's Verdict:
Sorry, buddy, but I love multiple-command games. Pthpth.
Cupid's Verdict:
I may be a mischievious little sprite, but geez, even I try not to bend guys over like this. Watch me frolick!!
My Verdict:
An interesting story, but totally on rails.

Game Information

Game Type:
Author Info:
Simmon is, much like your humble narrator, another bitter IFer residing in the Fort. His webpage is here. He is also the author of Insanity Cubed.
Download Link:

A Moment of Hope is the story about a guy trying to resolve a crush in the information age. See, I've been that guy. In terms of communicating what it's like to be a dude involved with an on-line chick, Mr. Barney does an excellent job of portraying the act as a mostly lonely and, ah, pathetic one. The story's character is a goateed, Linux-using longhair trying to discern, over the course of a few days, whether or not a girl that threw him a "crush" e-mail truly likes him.

It really is more a story than a game, however. The challenge is simply in getting the next consecutive bit of text to appear. A Moment Of Hope suceeds when it is  telling its interesting, compenent tale of modern day puppy love. It tends to fail, however, in terms of mechanics and gameplay. Certain actions need to be continually repeated in order to advance the plot. There certainly isn't any puzzles to speak of, and objects tend to fall into scope right after they are mentioned.

So, then. It's not a game, per se, but more an interactive longing. I wish that it had defined its PC a little more strongly, however. I feel that when it comes to manipulating emotions in a text adventure there are two methods that tend to work really well: either present the scene as it is and allow the player to feel fear, love, anger by him or herself (a la Anchorhead), or else construct a PC intended to be seperate from the player, so it's "fair" to throw emotional reactions about. I can accept that being told, as Ernie Eaglebeak, I have an insane lust for Lola Tigerbelly. If I'm just supposed to be Robb Sherwin, well maybe not so much. I instead sit there, play through and mentally say, "I don't feel that way! Wtfman?"

A Moment Of Hope does a pretty solid job relating the feeling one gets when maybe, just maybe, you allow yourself to believe that someone unattainable is within your grasp. Sort of like "Close To Me" by the Cure: The Video Game. I think it may have worked better as a more tradional short story, however. Nevertheless, I would definitely download the author's next work with the understanding while I may not be casting spells or navigating around in a spaceship, it will definitely be a somewhat solid and entertaining read.

Simple Rating
6.3 / 10

6.5 / 10

8 / 10

3 / 10

Puzzle Quality

Parser Responsiveness
6.8 / 10

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