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bmch.zip
Contains BMCH.GAM
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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Bad Machine

by Dan Shiovitz profile

Science Fiction
1998

(based on 13 ratings)
1 member review

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1.2
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 304
IFID: TADS2-91EE51CC6B59D363F7F33CDB9219E4D5
TUID: 3a9rb059miw9fc9h

Awards

Nominee, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 1998 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


This is one of those games that you just have to see to understand. There's nothing else quite like it, although Michael Berlyn's Suspended bears some similarities. In a vast, hivelike robotic factory, a malfunctioning machine struggles to avoid being being captured and reprogrammed. All text is in a pseudo-computery style, heavy on punctuation and mixed with error messages and line noise, and the main challenge is to figure out how to interpret the information you're given. (People using text-to-speech software might find this insurmounable.) Warehouse IV is full of activity even when you just wander around, so figuring out how things work and how to interact with them is your second challenge. Even when you have that knowledge, logistics can be sticky. Multiple paths lead to very different conclusions, all of which are somewhat anticlimactic. I'd recommend this one especially for techies, particularly if they're into Lego Mindstorms.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

IF-Review
Deus Ex Machine
The robot's confusion at achieving sentience(?) is mirrored by the player's confusion at having to operate in code: the difficulty in moving and examining things add to the apparent inevitability of 005's fate: 005 has only just gained sentience(?), he is (like the player) being pursued in a bizarre place by an omniescent, omnipresent faceless enemy. The irony is that only the player gets the feeling of fear and dread: 005 is unable to express or produce it. This is indicative of the different way the player and 005 see the game: even though we are more unfamiliar with the meaning of the code, we can assess its import.
-- Sam Kabo Ashwell
See the full review

SPAG
A pseudo-inter-RE-view with Dan Shiovitz
The world of Bad Machine, this fully automated warehouse, is astounding, even overwhelming: while it doesn't take too much time to finish the game, one could spend I think at least a couple of hours exploring possibilities, gaining information, and trying to figure out how everything works. And despite its large size, you somehow managed to maintain both its consistency and a high level of detail. Danny, pal, please tell me -- was it difficult to create?
-- Valentine Kopteltsev
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(7)
3 star:
(2)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review


A difficult parser game written in pseud-code from a machine's view, February 3, 2016
In this game, you play a machine in a sort of factory that is malfunctioning. I assume the eventual goal is to escape; even with the walkthrough, I ended up dying at the second-to-last move.

The game is written bizarrely. Here is an example of it at it's worst, when going west at the beginning:

?w
Dir ALT{ER}DDDisplace-: 2 [west -> south]
(self.travelTo(loc) = nil && m$ve(her@) FAILED

At the best, it is pretty understandable; here's LOOK's output in the first room:

?l
Reclamation Sector (2)
Cleared area amongst to-be-reforged bodies; gap(s) movement(allow) west, north; other exits apparent lacking.
To the north you see salvager-class machine.

So you see now what type of game this is. There are enemies that will harm you, there are other units whose parts you can scavenge. It's all bizarre.

A unique experience.

If you enjoyed Bad Machine...

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Recommended Lists

Bad Machine appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Stuff I like by markm
Really, just some stuff I like

Some interesting games by Atropos

Favorite wordplay/puzzle/code games by MathBrush
Games whose main 'genre' is wordplay. This list does not include games like the Edifice or Suveh Nux which have significant wordplay elements, but which are not the focus of the story.

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Bad Machine:

Non-human Perspectives by Rhetta_Lynnea
I'm looking for IF narrated by aliens, animals, anything.

Games That Reward Sticking With Them by Ghalev
Here's a dangerously subjective poll. I can be a bit impatient with text adventures on most days, sadly, and if a game doesn't grab me, shake me, French-kiss me and hump my leg in the first 2,000 words (those long intros count toward the...

AI developments, particularly NPC-AI by breslin
Doesn't need to be satisfying as a conventional game, but must be interesting as an experiment. The idea being that AI work in IF is something that still needs work. Name the games you think which are contributing to this area of genre...

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 9 April 2013 at 1:00pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item