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About the StoryIn the depths of the interactive fiction database strange games lurk!
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: June 11, 2012
Current Version: 1
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Makes reference to The Computer Club of Fear, by Nate Segerlind
Adapted from Casting, by 'trix
Adapted from Framed, by Richard Bayliss
Adapted from A Minimum Wage Job, by John Cater
Adapted from Seestraße, by Frank Sorge
Makes reference to Cold As Death, by Gorm
Adapted from The Extricator, by Peter Hoar, Catherine Lamb, David Hater, and Sean
Adapted from Les Feux de l'enfer, by Sabine Gorecki
Adapted from Inventory, by Christopher Armstrong
Adapted from The Algophilists' Penury, by Jon Stall
Entrant - Cover Stories
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Joey's footnotes and hints make several of these games easier to get through: for instance, I was stuck in the playthrough of Minimum Wage Job (otherwise one of the more accessible of the games on the list), but was able to rely on nudges that presumably aren't in the original game. From time to time he also offers some amusing commentary, though not by any means at MST3K quantities.
On the other hand, the nature of the game means that you *can't* go on and finish the games that Joey himself didn't get through -- so even if you read French or German and would be curious to go further with those games, Joey quickly backs out, and you will have to do so as well. (At least it's possible to download the original games from IFDB and go on with them if you are intrigued.)
Spelunking also allows you to bring away your final inventory from each game and continue to carry it in the next. This is where a majority of the invention and entertainment come from. There are various gags that involve wearing inappropriate clothing in the wrong game, for instance, or having tools that a particular game isn't expecting you to possess.
These features are entertaining, but the overall experience still necessarily feels pretty haphazard. I think I might have derived more value from a guided tour of a series of games that the author thought fit together particularly well, or had some merits despite being low-rated -- but that would have missed the point entirely.
Given Joey's essential premise of committing to whatever ten games popped up on a random list, he managed to create a more accessible and enjoyable rendition of that experience than going through that list first-hand would have been. It's also pitched as an encouragement to other people to go IFDB Spelunking. I don't quite have Joey's patience -- I certainly wouldn't have downloaded some of those emulators just to be able to play games that had gotten negative reviews to start with -- but he certainly makes a case for the diversity of the IF back catalog.
In contrast to some of the games featured, this game is, in fact, well written. No need to worry about illiterate parsers or clunky grammar! At least the author will point them out, say something to make you laugh and carry on. There’s also a helpful ‘hint’ feature to help you out if you’re stuck in one of the ‘games in the game’.
He implements each game, and you go through them. The AIF game is fortunately cut short, as are the French and German games, while the others are all happily tiny.
The game is surprisingly deeply implemented; for instance, the entire source code is included for one game.
This game really does recreate the IFDB experience, and provides an interesting commentary on IF in general. Also, the author has provided some small interaction between the small games. Strongly recommended.
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Recommended ListsIFDB Spelunking appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Games about interactive fiction itself by MathBrush
This is hopefully my last list. These are games that comment on the nature of interactive fiction or the interactive fiction community itself. The quality of these games varies wildly, and this list doesn't attempt to sort by quality....
PollsThe following polls include votes for IFDB Spelunking:
This Is Who We Are by Sam Kabo Ashwell
A considerable number of games exist largely as the commentary of the IF community (or some subset of it) upon the medium and the community itself. These works are likely to be befuddling to outsiders, but provide windows onto blah blah...
Mise-en-abîme by Sobol
Mise-en-abîme is a technique of having a play within a play, a painting within a painting, etc. Let's list those interactive stories where the characters play interactive stories.
This is version 2 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 13 December 2012 at 5:12pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item