Reviews for Babysitting

Note: Hints included in some reviews. You have been warned.

Below are some reviewers comments which we thought might help you decide on whether or not you'd like to play the scenario. This page is not a list of all the reviews the scenario received, only those that had thoughful and/or useful comments to make.

Rating:3.8

Comments:This small scenario is very well executed, and innovates with the "map pool", new wands and the alarms. The battles and the enemies are well-balanced, but the dungeon and city could be more enhanced. The second scenario of Blades of Avernum, like Roses of Reckoning, could be better, but I've lotta of fun in one hour playing, by the way. Saddly, the final reward is inexistant and the armor 'n acessories of dead NPC are poor. The external map is too small but the actions/dialogs work fine, like the adventure's argument . One side quest will be marvelous! Congratulations to the builder, a soft and pleasuring babysitting, with a lot of fun and good battles ;)

Rating:3.6

Comments:Overall, not a bad scenario. The writing was fine and many of the text options with NPC's were very enjoyable. One or two things that might be changed:

Major:

1. I wasn't able to find any way to stop the quickfire. While it is easy to avoid, I did accidently open the wrong door once. The quickfire quickly filled the dungeon and killed all the NPCs, ending the quest. I'm not sure if there was a way to deactivate it or if you are just supposed to avoid it, but having to load my game because I went NW instead of N was annoying.

2. At one point (the last encounter in the dungeon) enemies appeared right next to the 'Sister' NPC. They immediatly attacked and killed her before I could even press 'f.' I had to load the game again and move my group around to avoid this. It is very unexpected and hard to avoid the first time through.

Minor: Not being able to enter in melee with the final bosses can make this game unbeatable with some parties.

The treasure room in the Mayor's office couldn't be entered at any point that I could find.

The town map was reset too often, although for a good reason. (not sure how to avoid that)

Rating:3.3

Comments:The second Blades of Avernum scenario is out, but for me, it's the first one that I can play without having made it.

Khoth clearly has no clue how to design a town or outdoors. It showed up to no small extent in Demon, and it shows up here. I know, I know- "but TM, a town isn't the important part of a scenario!" This is usually true, except this town is used as a wayward point for the party. And that aside, it's designed horribly. I'm obviously biased in saying this, but at the time of its release, Babysitting has the most uninspired towns and outdoors ever. No messages describing the town, hardly any objects, et cetera. Towns should be fluid like water, not mucky and bad like tar.

Plot here is not the greatest. It holds up solidly, but really only exists to try out neat little tricks (more on those later). Your sister is kidnapped by bandits, you hack up the bandits and rescue her. Character motivations are all derived from stocks that we've seen before, even if all hold solidly.

Combat is fair- I entered with a level 4 archer singleton, but could have pulled off level 1 well enough. Combat offers nothing special, although props to Khoth for continuing the "ambushing-the-party is a challenge" school of thought that I sadly helped establish with RoR-BoA. The final battle is a horrendous experience if Kjellklaka (the nomenclature used for characters here is, for reference, hideous) is not killed immediately. I sniped him in a single round, though, making the experience a great deal easier. There was a Demon (ie. "Hell for a singleton"), but I managed to beat that as well.

That said, Khoth is among the two most advanced scenario designers for BoA to date (Haha- I'm such a comedian!). There are many things that make this scenario worth playing- the three wands are incredibly neat, and are clearly the best part about this scenario. Another trick is making a see-everything pool. The type that Exile, Avernum and many scenarios make as water terrains and then describe only with messages is featured here, except it actually works- neat. Cinematics are used even less than in RoR, but considering that they're used period, it makes for a more complex exposition than such "masterpieces" like Za-Khazi.

To put it as best I can? The other four BoA scenarios are probably more "solid" than this one. Nevertheless, it stands that some of the tricks employed here are just plain neat. It's worth a play, even if it will only occupy you for an hour at the most- but keep in mind, it will most likely be a fairly well-spent hour!

Rating:3.5

Comments:Nice tiny scenario with a simple plot and some neat twists. The special wands were a nice touch and a couple of the battles were tough enough to be a real challenge with a first level party, requiring a lot more strategy than the typical hack and slash.

Rating:2.9

Comments:Solid. While I feel it was too short to get into the "good" scenarios table, I just had to give it the highest rating under that. It was designed excellently, and I enjoyed all the of the extra effects you added, such as the map pool, and the new wands. You are clearly very skilled. The ambushes were well placed, and the game well balanced for level one parties. I liked the plot, though somewhat cheesy, and I look forward to seeing more epic scenarios made by yourself. Keep trying new things, such as side quests, and more cut scenes. You have great potential. Thanks again for your enjoyable scenario.

Rating:3.8

Comments:While it doesn't have much in the way of plot or character, this stands out for battles that require you think about how you're going to handle it--you can't bludgeon your way through. I suppose that some players will find their parties unable to handle it, especially if they aren't expienced players (which is more likely now that there are only the original 4 scenarios plus two quite brief ones for BoA). However, players who have been through the Avernum series will find this rewarding. As a nice touch, there are some interesting magic items I've never encountered before.

The flaws here are primarily due to length: the town has nothing going on (that I could find in one playing) and the outdoor component is strictly going to the dungeon. You don't get much gear, but I'm not sure that matters in a one-off (will you use these characters again?).

One of the things I liked about the original scenarios (especially Rebellion) was having a chance to make decisions which shaped your characters (do you join the rebellion, how do you handle the secrets you're given) and learn something about the motivations of the people you deal with. Were this scenario to be reworked (or for people taking on somewhat more expansive scenarios) is more plot and character development.

Overall, I'd say it was worth playing once, but probably not twice.

Rating:3.0

Comments:Well, after reading the reviws so far, and eagerly downloading this scenario, I was slightly dissapointed. Although BoA has only just been released, I felt that this scenario was way to short. It had just two towns - a dungeon and a cookie cutter friednly town. Whilst don't wish to focus on negatives, in my experience, making a good solid town takes just a few hours on BoE. Are the two games so dissimilar?

Good points include the style of wrting. Although I am likely to get severly flamed for this, I dislike Stareye's (At the Gallows, BoE) style of scenario. This one felt refreshing and raised a few smiles.

One small note is the guidelines for playing. I attempted this scenario after Valey of the Dying Things, and before any others. The rating is levels 1-3, yet my level 11-12 party needed haste, slow and healing spells to survive, so be careful.

Overall, the game is a good way to spend a few hours - but don't excpect a long adventure. A middle-of-the-road scenario which will provide a solid base for new ones. :Submit Review

Rating:3.9

Comments: '"Babysitting" was a thoroughly FUN and intriguing scenario to play. The puzzles were clever and the plot was "cute" in a good kind of way.

The battles are definitely fun and challenging. Original ways of attacking are absolutely essential. (I had to fight the three major battles several times each in order to win them.) There is a real temptation to use the character editor but DO NOT! Everything that is needed to win the scenario beginning with a level one party IS available in the scenario--including potions and one of the best parts of this scenario--the "three special wands." (I had forgotten how much fun it is to develop a very low level party into a stronger one!)

The scenario is well put together with no bugs, good graphics, and a plot line that is very "followable" but not still very "playable" (rather than obvious or trite.). Quickfire is not one of my favorite Exile/Avenum things but it does make for an interesting end play. The clever poke at one of the other first three user developed scenarios made me chuckle.

On the downside, this scenario is SMALL. (This is why I only rated it 3.9--it's very well done but doesn't really qualify as a whole scenario.) It would even be a small side quest in a longer scenario. Also, the one town is very "vanilla." Never-the-less, for a few hours of very enjoyable diversion, this is a good one. As the Spider Master himself says in the beginning of the hint book, "Computer games are meant to be fun. They're meant to be relaxing diversions from regular life." THIS SCENARIO FITS THE BILL!!

(I hope the author has the time and inclination to create a longer, more involved scenario!!)

Rating:3.1

Comments:This scenario could have been improved hugely by the dialog in the town. There is only one town so it would not have taken a huge amount of work to think up a more interesting story for the four or five NPCs in it.

The thing that annoys me hugely is the dialog with the weapons vendor. If you are going to make references to anything that is part of the real world (or another unrelated scenario) then it should be well hidden like an easter egg. The dialog with this NPC seriously brings down the game. The dialog with the other characters is quite good though.

The dungeon in the scenario is very good, and the battles chalenging but not impossible. The wands that you have created are really good, and do add a lot to the game. I had fun working out tactics of how to use them.

If you are going to download this scenario, do it for the combat and not for the dialog. It is good in places, but certain aspects let it down.

Rating:3.0

Comments:Not enough playtesting has been done on this scenario. Try playing on Difficult mode sometime, with a level 1 party! There are some neat twists and tricks, but there are not enough opportunities to level a party if it can't cope with the U arena. Even with the swop-places wand, this battle seems set up with some specific parties in mind, which would be fine if we could take the party out, beat up some more monsters to gain a couple of levels, and compensate. But the monsters just run out. A curate's egg of a scenario.

Rating:3.0

Comments:It's a quick, simple scenario that is really just too short and small. It's got plenty of neat tricks-- like the enemies who appear right at the end-- but it is fairly vicious for 1st to 3rd level characters. If it had one character willing to join the party and offer help that might mitigate the scenario. And maybe stretch it out a little bit-- have a smaller encounter with the bandits between their initial attack and finding their lair.

Rating:3.8

Comments:This is a nice little scenario. I found no bugs, it features a few creative bits of scripting, and the last three battles were challenging for a 1-3 level party. The plot was somewhat perdictable, but not painfully so. The last battle in particular was creative, in that the difficult part of it wasn't defeating the enemies... that's about all I can say without giving anything away. Overall, a well done scenario.

On the flip side, it was very short. I don't think I spend more than a hour and a half on it, and started with a new party (all of which had 20-25% xp penalties), and by the time my characters were level 3 the scenario was over. The only other thing that bugged me was the weapons shop. In a scenario with so few characters, the author could have spend a few seconds developing a little bit of a character for the weapon shop guy. In a larger scenario, the one-dimensional-character-to-fill-the-niche would be understandable.

So it's well worth it for an hour or two, or if you want to prep a party a bit for another lower-level scenario.

Rating:3.7

Comments:I'd say its an OK scenario - I know it's short, but it is more interesting than, suppose, Emerald Mountain, which i didn't like at all. The plot is fluid and the battles are interesting. The bandit lair also contains a few surprises, which were quite interesting in fact (the 3 wands and the pool). The town isn't particularly large nor particularly neatly designed, but that didn't trouble me for one, because my 1st-2nd level party wouldn't have had more to do in the scenario ifthere was Seleucia in place of it. Overall, its quite good (enjoy it while it lasts, :D)

Rating:3.70

Comments:Thanks for a bit of a challenge, Khoth, and also for that alarm script.

The shortness of a scenario like Babysitting does not preclude it from having original ideas. As an example, we have the scripted alarm system, the wand of polymorph (enabling a level 2 party to take out a demon by turning him into a lizard) and the orb of seeing matched with a cutscene.

These kinds of things keep the player thinking strategically instead of just tactically. Also, the author was careful to give his personalities consistent and believable characteristics in the short time available for development (with some notable and comic exceptions).

Enjoyable. Funny. Promising.

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