Mite: Not So Friggin’ Huge

I haven’t posted reviews in a couple of days.  Partially this has been due to a strange combination of overwork and laziness, and partially this is because one of my online thingers got hacked.  So I got paranoid and changed all my passwords to everything.  And now, of course, I can’t remember my new passwords to anything.  But I eventually remembered this one!

So up now we have Mite, a z-code game by Sara Dee.  Sara Dee is also responsible for Madam Spider’s Web, a game which I am currently mixing up in my head with Plotkin’s Spider and Web, which is causing some vaguely amusing visual imagery of a giant house frau spider strapped to an interrogation table.  Anyhoo.  Let’s keep the buffer text short today and play this game.

Part One: Wherein we play through this curious excitement-generation-engine and make overly pithy comments

Hmm.  That’s some long intro text.  Interesting, but long.  Apparently I am a wee person on a gemquest of some manner.  For my own amusement, I’m going to pretend I look like Vern “Mini Me” Troyer until told otherwise.

the Fairy Prince having banished most of the goblins, bogies, and other mischievous creatures to the realm beyond the hedges long ago
I’ve never heard Fox News described as “the realm beyond the hedges” before, but sure.

> ask butterfly about prince
You’ve never come upon a talking arthropod and this butterfly is no exception. Either that or it’s ignoring you.
Damn you butterfly!  I demand answers!  Vern Troyer does not take this shit from things with “butter” in their name!

At the Base of a Dandelion
I’d just like to halt right here and say how much I love this room name.  It perfectly captures the size issue.

And now I have gotten stuck at some kind of water and pipe. Although frankly at my size it could be a straw sitting in a pool of melted Slurpee and I’d never know the difference.  Time to backtrack!

> x maiden
The beautiful nymph, dressed in a simple white shift, sits sobbing on one of the lower branches of the lilac bush.
Ooo, perhaps she will go on a date with me.

“My name is Hespa,” she manages between sobs. “Today has been terrible! My beloved Bugg wandered off into the brush.”  She points at a small clearing in the the undergrowth to the northwest that had escaped your notice before.
Damn, she has a boyfriend already.

> ask nymph about bugg
“Bugg is my pet ladybug. I’ve had him since he was a larva.” Tears stream down her face.
Woot!  He’s just the token platonic male friend!  Date, you are back on!

Freed the token platonic male friend, let’s see about that reward… macrame?  You’re rewarding me with macrame??  I just killed a (relatively) giant spider for you, woman!

> ask nymph about kiss
Maybe once you get to know one another better…
Honestly, I didn’t think this would even get a response, so I am satisfied.

I’d like to take a side moment to say that one day I hope to play a game (of any type, in any genre) featuring a spider that is not, in some way, your apparent or actual foe.  A game where you befriend a spider perhaps, or where a spider is your valued boon companion who pulled you from the burning wreckage of a taco truck.  Until then I suppose I will continue to kill the things, although under protest.

In the Tulip Turret
These room names, they just keep getting better and better.

Unbelievable! And your friends back home probably really won’t believe it… they’ll think you daydreamed it or read it in a book somewhere.
Your tiny smurf-like friends who live in the hidden fairy world of a garden won’t believe you about an invisible bridge?  Are all your friends idiots?

> climb mushroom
I don’t think much is to be achieved by that.
> get on mushroom
You climb onto the squat mushroom. Its cap is springy beneath your feet.
Perhaps it is just that this game has been excellent so far at providing multiple commands for things, but I feel that these could have been folded into the same action.

Cute.  The palace is a bird feeder.  Very cute.

> ask prince about nymph
“I don’t know her personally, but nymphs are lovely creatures.
I just returned your gem, man.  Hook a brotha up with them digits.

Okay, looks like we be done.

PArt Two: Wherein we discuss the merits and/or flaws of the imaginative exercise in question

First off, the game is very well implemented.  I mean VERY well implemented.  Multiple understandings of similar logical actions, everything had a description, zero apparent bugs… it was very, very solid.  That type of care on the programming end really shows, and it’s appreciated, and I wish more authors would take the time.

The technical aspects of the writing were excellent as well, although to be honest I found the subject matter a touch bland.  A couple of places shone (the rooms I mentioned, plus places like the lawn gnome and the bird feeder palace), but the whole motivation/story was just a touch “meh”.  Very old-school in a way, but I would’ve cared for a stronger narrative hook.

The puzzles get a point for highlighting some of the second-tier verbs (jump, push, etc.), but I didn’t feel like one or two (the thorn being a notable example) were clued well enough.  I did like the wind puzzle, though.  I do wish there had been a bit more playing around with the player’s size, maybe a bit more dealing with tiny mundane items in an interesting way.  Of course, considering that the player is sized to float on a dandelion seed, those tiny mundane objects would have to be friggin’ nanomachines or something, but it’s still one of my favorite parts of “you’re small” games.

All in all very solidly done, but I wish it had gone further in the story/things you get to do.



4 Responses to “Mite: Not So Friggin’ Huge”

  1. Emily Boegheim Says:

    I’d like to take a side moment to say that one day I hope to play a game (of any type, in any genre) featuring a spider that is not, in some way, your apparent or actual foe. A game where you befriend a spider perhaps, or where a spider is your valued boon companion who pulled you from the burning wreckage of a taco truck.

    One day I’ll write a game about the disabled spider that lives at the head of my bed. I named it Frederica, assuming it’s female based on my vague knowledge of arachnid lifestyles, but remaining open to the possibility that it may be male. It’s like those lilies of the field Jesus talked about: as far as I can tell, it toileth not nor does it spin. But I guess our Heavenly Father feeds it, since it’s been there for weeks and is still alive.

    • Awwww. All joking aside, I could definitely see that having some emotional resonance even if the game were nominally about something else. Granted, I like spiders, and prefer to let them live when at all possible for your reason stated. There was a daddy long legs in my bathroom named George for about six months, and I have no idea what she was managing to eat either 🙂

  2. I ran into exactly the same thing with climbing the mushroom. The other bit that bothered me was that many of the winds were named backwards—if I jump into a northeasterly wind, it should take me southwest, dammit.

    • Huh, just went back to look at that wind thing since I totally did not notice, but you’re right. The author was correct for “the wind is blowing to the southwest”, but yeah, the northeasterly wind should technically be also blowing southwest. Good catch, man.

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