I feel bad, because this game is very earnest and well-programmed and nothing is obviously broken and I probably should have liked it.
But I kind of resented a lot of things in this game. Like how I had to screw a pretty long time with the soda fountain until "shake siphon" finally worked. "Hit siphon" didn't work, and probably should have just for people who hate guessing every possible verb. Maybe I was having another dumb day and shake was supposed to be obvious.
I resented the flashback sequence on the carriage, because there was nothing I could do "back in time" to change the future, and I couldn't play billiards even though there was a billiard hall, and I couldn't really engage my companions in conversation about anything much, except for possibly about my recent dreams or my wife that left me. (I could've probed for more information about this than I did, I guess.)
I even kind of resented having to type "wake up" to begin the game, even though I figured out basically immediately that's what I had to do.
I did manage to get the game in this state:
Gronovskij looks at the bottle you are carrying sneeringly, as if to say: "Why would anybody carry an empty brandy bottle to a duel?"
>hit gronovskij with brandy bottle
One duel is quite enough for today.
Out of curiousity, what difference does it make? I know this game is about historical honor duels and they go a certain way, but, eh, why not let me beat the crap out of him with a broken bottle if I'm going to die anyway?
I did die, and then checked the walkthrough to see what I did wrong. Apparently according to the walkthrough dying is a totally legitimate ending, so I didn't do anything wrong per se and there's no more game after that. The death can also be avoided with one particular trick. Then you live, but it's otherwise sorta the same, except you actually miss stuff because you don't get nested death dream sequences.
Though I confess that at the end of the nested dream sequences, the command I was typing in was "die." I think I typed "die" like three times. I was picturing in my head the one MST3K episode where Crow was screaming "ENNNNND! ENNNNND!" at a scene and it wasn't even close to over yet.
Some stuff I did like: the way objects generally worked... for example the way I could "x my face" by using the mirror (even if the description wasn't much, it was good that they thought of it), and the basic amounts of detail in the environments.
I just felt like the story was a bit too on-rails and I was just drifting through it. I think it's telling that there's so much 'z', 'z', in the walkthrough, because you just gotta wait for stuff to happen.
Also, I know my sense of humor is inappropriate in this context, but when it's offered directly to you it's hard to resist:
Kropkin reaches down from the box and hands you a hip-flask. "You look nervous, old fellow!" he says. "Have a drink!" The carriage gives a lurch, and Kropkin disappears again.
>get ye flask
You can't see such a thing here.
(Can I request this be the new 'xyzzy' that everyone has to implement because it is funny?)
(...especially if someone actually offers me an actual flask?)
(Ok, I know I can't make requests. Just askin'.)