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About the StoryYou're almost at the end of that adventure game you've struggled so hard to beat, when things get a little crazy.
[blurb from The (Other) TADS Games List version 1.2]
6th Place, TADS Division - First Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1995)
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
Many of the items in the game are very neat ideas, when seen in isolation [...] However, when all these elements are just thrown together and presented as a game without any further explanation, the result is more frustrating than amusing. If there had been some hidden internal logic to be discovered it would have posed an intellectual challenge; but personally I don't find trying to solve puzzles that aren't there very challenging, especially when the only way forward seems to be trial and error; it just makes me feel like the author is pulling my leg.
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I'm afraid this game totally got the better of me. I just didn't understand what the writer was on about. Maybe his sense of humour is something that I didn't grasp or maybe he lives in a different world.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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Out of the twelve games in the very first IF Comp two were essentially anti-games: Undo and MST3K presents "Detective." Both games were fairly hilarious meditations on badness and (for better or worse) helped stretch the definition of what would be considered acceptable IF.
Unlike this year's The Absolute Worst IF Game in History, Undo shows that a disrespectful gesture can be made in a classy way. A pie in the face every once in a while is fine: how about custard instead of cow?
With thorough exploration, when armed with some knowledge of IF programming and history, this work can be appreciated for some of the nuances of coding and genre that it subverts. However, it is entirely unsatisfying from a narrative perspective, offering only a raw "puzzle" (technically a riddle, wrapped in mystery, inside an enigma) that is disconnected from the story's ostensible premise and any conceivable player motivation other than sheer will-to-complete.
It's really too bad. The seed idea (allegedly: trying to complete an adventure game that has become corrupted and no longer functions correctly) is the kind of scenario that might have actually happened in the nostalgic era of oft-pirated 5 1/4" floppies. It seems like it would be possible to build a surrealist story with clever puzzles on this foundation, and, based on his later work with the Frenetic Five series, I am certain Mr. DeMause had the creativity to do so.
Although I did not like this particular example of the author's handiwork, it is competently put together, and some small part of me does appreciate it how it can be appreciated. As such, I am compelled to give it two stars, though I recommend avoiding it unless you are interested in its historical value as an entry in the very first IF Comp.
Other than that I've got nothing to add to the other review, which is fair enough: It's not large, so it might be worth a look for the handful of small gags it contains. I take it the game is a spoof, but it doesn't seem to clearly be a spoof OF anything.
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