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Solium Infernum Review

December 3rd, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 3 Comments · Crispy Gamer, Cryptic Comet, Review

While chatting with editor Ryan Kuo about this review, he said that he liked how I worked around the fact I couldn’t describe everything even though he admitted he had no idea what I had left out.

That’s one of the big problems with Solium Infernum as a design – there is just so much to explain – but also one of its great pleasures. It inspires warm feelings even as you are fighting all the negatives.

This was a hard review to write, and I know that I’ll have to explain more in the comments as readers ask me what I was smoking when I wrote it.

EDIT: And it says something about the editorial staff at CG that they even let me review this game. It wasn’t even a hard sell.


3 Comments so far ↓

  • Ian Bowes (spelk)

    Impressed with the review Troy, I’ve tried summing the game up in a paragraph or two for folks I seem to be peddling it to, butI always come up short in dishing out all it has, not to mention the stuff I imagine is still hidden in the depths I’ve yet to find.

    I’m not sure about your last comment marrying it up with Dwarf Fortress, mainly because I think SI is infinitely more accessible to everyone, where DF still hides its beauty behind its Ascii/tilesets or its cryptic UI. SI’s UI is clunky, but most of how it works is fairly approachable. With a decent “get started” tutorial (and I’m fixing my gaze firmly at Dubious Quality’s Bill Harris here), even the more esoteric moments of SI should be palatable for most gamers.

    I think SI might appeal more to people who would play the Facebook Mobsters or Vampire games, than it will to your stolid wargamer/grognard. If Vic can tap into this sort of player somehow, it may open the door to a lot more fruitful things in the future.

  • Michael A.

    Interesting review.

    I wonder if the tooltip problem is a limitation of Vic’s choice to continue to develop in that arcane development environment of his (forget what it’s called now). Otherwise, he’ll no doubt get that worked into some future patches. Messing around with it, I didn’t find the user interface that unapproachable, but it definitely lacks a tutorial.

    Deception and bluff works well in multiplayer games against humans – rarely so against AI. It’ll be tough to build a competent AI, but perhaps it won’t matter so much if this gains the multiplayer following that the initial response seems to promise.

  • Natus

    Nicely done, Troy. I’m getting the feeling that this is a tough game to review in a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of way. I haven’t played it yet, but I bought it a few hours after it was “published” because, like the boardgame Chaos In the Old World, I relish a game where you play as the bad guys only. I hope Mr. Davis keeps refining the AI and interface as much as possible.