→ Microsoft keeps it old-school with a pricey text adventure game, Visual Studio 2010

by Michael in

Microsoft keeps it old-school with a pricey text adventure game, Visual Studio 2010

Ars Technica's Peter Bright with probably my favorite review of a development tool ever:

There are two major modes to the game, a textual spell-casting game, and a more complex interactive puzzle mode.

Play starts with the spell game. The game has three difficulty modes. In the two easiest modes Visual Studio questers must cast spells to appease a malevolent gatekeeper known only as "the compiler," the text adventuring of Zork with the wizardy and magic of Loom. If the player's spell contains even a single faulty incantation, the compiler will respond with a torrent of abuse and spells of its own; the player must piece together clues contained within compiler's response to determine how they went wrong.

and later

The game includes a complex multiplayer mode, allowing many different players to develop a coordinated array of spells and dungeons together. Each player can enter the other player's dungeons, examine their spells, and even modify them. The open-ended environment allows players to create their own goals and objectives, and the multiplayer mode allows these objectives to be tracked and monitored.

Visual Studio 2010 is a free-to-play game, but here is where some of the biggest problems lie. There is a large system of unlocks and additional features that must be purchased—mere in-game accomplishment is not sufficient to gain access to them. The most expensive of these—the "Ultimate" edition—costs a whopping $11,899. This version does include some exciting additions to gameplay, such as the ability to look back in time to see just how a bug ensnared you in its trap, giving the game something of the character of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

This article is just a small sample of why I love Ars Technica so much.