Tea Ceremony

by Naomi Hinchen (Z-machine; download from IFDB page)

You are a junior diplomat, though not a very good one; you probably shouldn’t have gone to that party last night, amongst other things. And now you have an angry Glorpian in front of you. And Glorpians are sticklers for etiquette.

Tea Ceremony is a simple game, in prose and in mechanics. The writing is perhaps sparser than it could be, though it serves its purpose. This game, however, has puzzles at its heart, rather than story. Whether this harms or helps the story is another creature altogether. Logic puzzles abound, which will probably be familiar to even newbies. Mechanically, Tea Ceremony is well-done; the parser handles commands for the puzzles intuitively and everything the player needs to know to solve the puzzles and win the game is clearly stated in-game.

The game’s very simple prose gives the feeling of being unsubstantial, but there are, in fact, some gems, as suggested at the end of the game, to discover. Strong, technically, imbued with a sense of playfulness, even if it doesn’t give the impression of being highly polished.

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