How It Begins
You are on your way to the marriage of a friend when your train stops in the City due to technical problems. At least the railway company have booked a hotel room for you, and this does give you the opportunity to sightsee in the old and picturesque city. But it isn't long before strange things start to happen to you, and with every move you are drawn ever deeper into the mysteries of this City of Secrets.
- For modern IF, the game is very big: it contains dozens of well-implemented locations, many NPCs you can talk to, and even some books you can read. People report playing for 6 to 10 hours before finishing the game, and little of this time would have been spent solving puzzles.
- The game features two modes: a Standard mode and a Novice mode. There are apparently no puzzles in the Novice mode, though there already are relatively few in the Standard mode.
- City of Secrets uses a hybrid conversation system: you can ask people about topics, but then you can choose between several options from a numbered menu. Many conversations can be held entirely through the menu, since the game will automatically go on to new topics if they have been suggested by the current exchange.
- The game features a graphical compass rose, and some other graphics in a separate bar at the left of the screen.
- Emily Short was originally commissioned to write City of Secrets by the band Secret-Secret, who supplied part of the storyline. This arrangement finally came to nothing, but Secret-Secret did allow Short to publish the game as freeware, which she did.
- City of Secrets (Emily Short; 2003; Glulx).
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- XYZZY Awards 2003: Winner of Best NPCs. Finalist for Best Game, Best Writing, Best Story, Best Setting, Best Individual NPC (bookseller).
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