IFDB page: Aayela
Final placement: 10th place (of 26) in the 1996 Interactive Fiction Competition
This review was written more as a series of notes than an actual review. It wasn’t until later in the process of playing the competition entries that I arrived at the style of reviewing each game in detail. My apologies to Magnus for providing such an incomplete evaluation. My main memory of Aayela was that crawling in dark is an interesting device which could make for an intense episode in a longer game (and, in fact, already has in the case of So Far.) As the bulk of this game, it made for an interesting experiment.
Prose: Often good, sometimes a bit over the top. Crawling in the dark hearing ethereal chords is unfortunately a bit reminiscent of So Far. Especially unfortunate if the design of Aayela preceded So Far.
Difficulty: Quite easy actually. An enjoyable vignette.
Technical (coding): Enjoyed being able to feel and smell. Most commands were anticipated quite well. One or two TADS error instances.
Technical (writing): One or two rather glaring mistakes (“an insisten breeze”). On the whole quite proficient.
Plot: Very simple, but serves its purpose.
Puzzles: Again quite simple, but vividly rendered.
OVERALL — a 7.5