IFComp 2009: More Games Which Made Me Crabby

This is another Interactive Fiction Competition review, of another three games that didn’t impress me. I guess it’s good I’m getting them out of the way. Reviews of later, better games will be less dismissive, (and longer, and harder to write).

The Hangover

This is the first room:

Your Bedroom
You have a horrid hangover and no asprin in the apartment. This is your bedroom. Your ill-loking bed takes up most of the space. You have a closet and a bath robe on the floor. you should really take your robe and put it on. Its a good place to store things. To the east is your bathroom and to your west is the rest of your apartment.

Also here is your bathrobe.

You can take your bathrobe and put it on, and the text doesn’t change. The walkthrough is similarly illiterate:

The platypus takes them and informs you it will take 1 to 2 weeks to proccess the approval
forms. He also tells you what happend last night. The platypus married you and Zoey Ferdinand
(the women) last night while both of you were drunk. The game is over. You Win.

I would suggest the author stop wasting everyone’s time, and come back when he has learned English.

Spelunker’s Quest

Another quest. It’s set in a cave full of random unexplained stuff. It looks like the author hasn’t seen an interactive fiction game in the last twenty-five years. I’m pretty sure he’s never read the “Players’ Bill of Rights,” either. You walk into a room and with no warning oh no, it’s a goblin! And it kills you. It kills you even if you run away. Unless you happened to visit another room first and found the right weapon, you’re hosed.

Unlike The Grand Quest or The Hangover there are no obvious technical or language problems, so this might have seemed mildly impressive in 1985.

Zork, Buried Chaos

Man, this one is illiterate and dated. It’s like Spelunker’s Quest and The Hangover got married and their kid got all their worst genes.

blue room
You are in a blue room. Exits lead east and south, and there’s a glass wall to the north.

A gray door blocks your way south.

A dial is on the wall.

You can’t see any such thing.

I’m beginning to hate the sentence “You can’t see any such thing.”

The author of Zork, Buried Chaos has presumably seen the Zork games. Did he notice the stark differences between those games and his effort? Did he really want the audience to make the comparison?