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Mammal

by Joey Jones profile

Episode 5 of Apollo 18 Tribute Album
Humor
2012

Web Site

(based on 17 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

The lizards have taken over. You, a lowly human slave, are tasked with eradicating all mammalian traces from the Don Quixote Memorial Museum.

(Written for the Apollo 18+20 tribute album project.)

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: March 26, 2012
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: 120324
TUID: 3pfco8kg9xs3ahil

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(8)
3 star:
(7)
2 star:
(2)
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A collect-themed-items game, like Dinner Bell, February 15, 2016
This game is similar to Dinner Bell, and appear in the same collection. You have to gather 14 kinds of mammal dna (like Dinner Bell, the list comes from a They Might Be Giants song).

You have to do this because your lizard-people overlords are forcing you to. So there is a genocidal aspect to the game.

I found this game to be somewhat difficult near the end because I didn't realize how many items had additional uses.

I used the Club Floyd transcript for the last two puzzles.

I found it enjoyable, but sometimes wonky (hidden items aren't listed in the room description even after you discover them, you can wind things you really oughtn't be able to wind, and so on).

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Banality Of Evil Adventure, April 11, 2012
Mammal is a small-to-medium-sized treasure-hunt game with mild puzzles. As the human slave of reptilians, you are tasked with eradicating all traces of mammals from a museum.

(Spoiler - click to show)This is a fairly grim premise, since you're effectively a Sonderkommando. The wider context of the purge is never explicitly stated, but there's ample evidence that it has been a violent and chaotic process. The featureless protagonist shows no signs of emotional reaction, and dutifully goes about a set of simple tasks that are perfectly familiar to an IF player: find and identify the treasures, solve some mild puzzles to secure them, return them to the trophy-case. The PC is wholly subsumed by their role.

There are some obvious homages: the skip as trophy case is a throwback to Ad Verbum, and the reptilians bear no small resemblance to Dr. Sliss of Rogue of the Multiverse. (If there are any direct references to the TMBG song, I wouldn't notice them.) More generic stock IF devices are common, too: a crowbar to pry things with, a wandering cat. This is about the morally numbing effect of familiarity, of how having an excellent practical grasp of how to do something can make it seem less ethically troubling. That this is a mechanically unremarkable game is kind of the point. The puzzles are just fiddly enough to engage your attention and keep it away from the elephant in the room. Ultimately, you incinerate yourself for the lousy last point. (I assume; there's a point or two that I haven't found.)

Mammal is not an ethically deep work; it has a single trick to pull, a single point to make. But it's cleverly handled, and it delivers a mean little moment of realisation. And it's very clearly not about the rather tired point that players will cheerfully do atrocious things if shepherded by gameplay; rather, it takes that as read and takes advantage of it.

(There is one small bug: if you incinerate yourself while holding other mammals, the other mammals are not incinerated.)


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Mammal appears in the following Recommended Lists:

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The following polls include votes for Mammal:

More than it appears to be... by dacharya64
I'm looking for games that aren't exactly what they seem. Perhaps they come across as simple or romantic or anything really, the point is that things take a turn for the worse (or perhaps the better) and everything begins to change....

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This is version 8 of this page, edited by Teaspoon on 27 March 2016 at 10:26am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item