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For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
detect13.zip *
Contains DETECT.D$$
Requires an AGT interpreter - see Brass Lantern for download links.
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

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by Matt Barringer


(based on 14 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

"Often imitated, never equaled, an unvarnished port of Barringer's "Detective". [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 1
License: Freeware
Development System: AGT
Baf's Guide ID: 63
IFIDs:  AGT-03500-0000BE87
TUID: 1po9rgq2xssupefw

Spoofed by Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective", by C. E. Forman, Graeme Cree, and Stuart Moore

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Another obvious first attempt. Although it's billed as a mystery, the only real goal in this game is to travel from your starting location to the location where you win, without wandering into any of the locations that automatically kill you. The room descriptions contain plot events (which seldom makes sense the second time you visit a room), and connections between rooms are often mishandled. It's pretty clear that the author has only a vague understanding of what adventure games are, and would probably be more comfortable writing hyperfiction.

However, fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 should check out MST3K Presents Detective , an Inform port with adaptive heckling.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

Surprisingly, the only commands needed to solve 'Detective' are north, east, south, and west. It is possible to pick up a few items along the way in order to increase the score, but none of these items has any effect on the story.
-- Stefan Jokisch

I'm only writing this because unlike Stefan Jokisch (in his review), I think that you SHOULD get this game and you SHOULD play it. It's very quick (as little as 26 moves), loaded with such unintentional laughs, and unlike Space Aliens, you can play it to a conclusion, with no headaches or technical glitches. [...] Mr. Barringer's goal in writing the game was to entertain his audience, and as far as I'm concerned he suceeded in ways that the rating system can't show.
-- Graeme Cree
See the full review


It's short, arbitrary and pointless, but it *is* short! It may even be historical. (Can you count yourself a true IF afficionado if you don't know of this game?) It's also sincere in its way. If you look at other bad IF, you often find a cynicism, rampant insults to the player, and sleazy bad humor. It's clear that the author's intentions are good.
-- okblacke
See the full review


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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Famous for being bad, but actually not that awful, December 16, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Matt Barringer, **
Although this game is famous for being really, really bad, I did kind of like it. Knowing that it was written by a twelve-year-old kid did help, mind. I think what I liked most about it was the energy and sheer gung-ho of it although the plot makes pretty much no sense at all, you definitely get the impression that the author found it tremendously exciting, and it almost doesn't matter that nobody else would feel the same. In a game written by an adult, this would be kind of embarrassing. In a game written by a pre-teen, it's not at all inappropriate. I honestly don't think that I'd be embarrassed to have written this game as a kid.

If you enjoyed Detective...

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The following polls include votes for Detective:

"Ed Wood" Games by murphy_slaw
I'm looking exquisitely bad games. Games with warped aesthetics and worldviews far removed from consensus reality. Games that are, in the words of Michael Martin, "exactly good enough that I had to keep going to see what it did next"....

The worst IF ever? by theqbasicwizard
I'm wanting to do an episode for the podcast that deals with only the worst possible IF games ever programmed? You know the kind that if you would have played it for another minute longer, that you would have never played another IF ever...

Some of the worst games written. by Bishopofbasic
The last time I put up a poll, I got some really great games, and loved playing them. So now I'm looking for some of the worst IF games ever created within the community. Something in the likes of Ed Wood.

See all polls with votes for this game


This is version 3 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 18 April 2013 at 5:06pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item