IFComp 2009 review: The Duel in the Snow by Utkonos

The Duel in the Snow is a story of a man whose life is not going that well. His wife has left him and he's about to leave for a duel with an able marksman.

In addition to the rather straightforward story of the eponymous duel, there are some extra layers hidden in the game. To find out what is really going on you have to do some extra work, which gives the game some replayability.

The different endings branch in a rather unconventional way. If you miss the action that leads to the "good" ending (which ends the game right there) you get the "losing" ending that has one extra scene. Apparently this losing branch gives clues to finding out all the nuances of the main story.

The game has some of the most suiting default responses in the comp and overall it's very well programmed. I didn't run into a single bug and I don't remember seeing any strange responses either.

I did have some slight confusion over my goals at the beginning. The game said I was thirsty and apparently there was no water in the entire house (when finding an everyday object is your goal in life but you can't find one anywhere, you know you're in an adventure game).

The best aspect of the game for me was the mood building that was supported by the solid implementation and responses suitable to the setting. Although the game is quite short it doesn't really matter because the story would not need any more. In fact, the "death scene" could also be cut or moved someplace else without much impact to the story.

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