by Andrew Plotkin
I am fairly near the end of the game and on my first playthrough. Apologies if you feel this is not a fair review.
You are stuck in a wizard’s version of a mind palace: a ‘dreamhold’.
Language: Andrew Plotkin creates a rich and varied environment with just enough details to keep the player interested.
Plot: Straightforward: the player needs to collect six items, though the player must figure out how and certainly why. There is variety enough in the puzzles and they are mostly self-contained.
Mechanics: Because this is a game aimed at beginner IF players, there is an extensive and comprehensive adaptive hint system. Likewise, my clumsy meanderings have not yet put the game in an unwinnable state, making it a friendly and forgiving game. Despite this, I got lost all the time (navigating curved structures with the cardinal directions is very confusing for me) and the settings pretty much merged into one another.
The Dreamhold is also a good example of games with settings which change on their own.