Length - Short
Engine - AGS
Suitability Factors - Blood, Mild Horror
Whilst playing through a longer AGS game I decided to take a break and play something shorter. The game I chose was the bizarrely named Armageddon Margaret by ElaineMc, the winner of the February 2004 Monthly Adventure Game Studio (MAGS) competition. A good choice it was too!
In Armageddon Margaret, the player takes control of Miss Felicia Delgado, a 'proper' young lady who resides in a peaceful English village. Upon her return from a neighbouring village, Miss Delgado is attacked by a strange armoured creature from which she manages to escape and run for help. It soon becomes apparent however that her friends and neighbours have gone, and there is more to this than the one mechanical creature that attacked her.
The story is well written, interesting, and kept me entertained for the duration. Being a killer zombie-robot game it would be easy for it to go by the books and be a more manly affair with guns and far more brazen action. Now whilst it's not humorous or whimsical either, the game does have an airy lighter feel to it (the final puzzle is one case in point) which I personally thought was great. It doesn't aim to be macho or gung-ho and is all the better for this.
With this in mind, it's not going to come as a surprise that I really loved the atmosphere of this game. Whilst the backgrounds are not amazing they do a good job of creating a dark and moody setting. The head portraits which appear when a character is talking are also very good and help to convey the characters' emotions.
The game has some good music accompanying certain scenes and these are interspersed with other scenes which are silent. I'm not sure whether this was intentional but it worked really well.
Felicia herself also adds greatly to the immersion of the game - her old-fashioned lady-like personality covered with a forced independence makes her very likeable and really makes you care about her survival. A brash overconfident lead character just wouldn't have given off the same effect. Making the player actually care about the character and his/her situation can really add to the immersion of a game and the developer did a great job in this respect.
The game consists of inventory based puzzles which are fairly easy and logical. Having said that there is at least one puzzle which seemed completely pointless and actually counter-productive to Felicia's plight.
Furthermore you may find that at times you miss objects or locations and end up backtracking in order to find what you need. This does occasionally result in certain aspects of the story not following a logical progression. For example Felicia may make a comment in one scene enquiring as to what could have happened when in actuality she already knows.
These slight inconsistencies were the biggest downside of the game, although they're not such a problem that they spoil the fun.
It is also worth pointing out that you can die in this game so make sure you save your game.
As for the length, well one sitting will most likely do it although I can see it being played over two perhaps. It is short but nevertheless it still manages to hold together an engrossing story which is fairly self-contained.
Despite some flaws, this game was a delight to play. Felicia Delgado is a very likeable lead character whom is different from the norm and makes the player care about her and her predicament. I hadn't come across this game until very recently - perhaps it's overlooked due to it being a MAGS game (and an old one at that) however I thoroughly enjoyed playing it the whole way through. Here's hoping a few more people will give Armageddon Margaret a chance.
- Likeable lead character
- Well written
- Some minor possible inconsistencies in story timeline
- Quite short
- Puzzles not great
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