Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In

Download



Story File
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

Deadline Enchanter

by Alan DeNiro profile

Surreal
2007

(based on 48 ratings)
9 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: September 30, 2007
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Baf's Guide ID: 3038
IFID: 968364EB-23C5-439B-BD1A-027E26708C78
TUID: 9wozfe2gm3oui7hq

Awards

12th Place - 13th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2007)

Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Winner, Best Use of Medium - 2007 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

JŲrgs Wort[be]reich
Rezension zum IF-Comp 2007 (German)
Man spielt, indem man in der (Neben-)Rolle des Protagonisten das Spiel spielt. Die Handlung darin scheint in einer kriselnden Zukunft stattzufinden, in der die Menschen nicht mehr die Vorherrschaft auf der Erde haben. Wesentlich mehr kann man leider nicht sagen, ohne zuviel zu verraten, denn der Weg ist hier das Ziel. ...
See the full review

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
(8)
4 star:
(23)
3 star:
(14)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 9
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
A strange case, February 22, 2008
Deadline Enchanter falls into an unusual category: it is a work I found frustrating, flawed, and incomplete -- one which I nearly didn't finish myself -- but which I nevertheless would recommend more people play.

DE deservedly received mixed reviews and ratings in the IF Competition. The environment is sketchy; many objects are unimplemented and don't respond to investigation; the plot is mysterious and takes some time to unfold; the writing is highly stylized and may annoy or put off some players; and there is very little by way of puzzle, except perhaps for the meta-puzzle of understanding what is going on and why this work is interesting in the first place.

On the other hand, DE also features many strange and memorable images and a genuinely novel setting; it plays new and interesting games with the relationship between the player and the work; it does ultimately have a good reason to be interactive fiction rather than a story on the printed page (however long it may take you to understand this point); and the oddities of writing eventually prove to be part of a strong characterization within the work. What's more, the final state of the work is surprisingly moving and even beautiful, I thought.

So: absolutely not everyone's cup of tea, but a piece well worth exploring, especially for people who are interested in the boundaries of interactive fiction.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Quite, quite nonstandard; won't appeal to everyone, but I liked it, November 21, 2007
by Kake (London, England)
Related reviews: Alan DeNiro, ****
I didn't think I was going to like this game when I started playing it, but now I'm extremely glad I gave it a go. I played it over again as soon as I'd finished it the first time, and enjoyed it as much if not more on the second go-round.

A number of reviewers have mentioned the sketchiness of the implementation, and some have suggested this may have been a purposeful choice, or at least one explainable within the world by the narrator having been in an understandable hurry. Now, given the backstory of the game, I have absolutely no problem with most nouns and actions being unimplemented; the problem I had was that when I got a reply from Inform, rather than from my narrator, it was jarring. Something as simple as a comment in the narrator's voice, rather than letting it fall through to the default parser response, would have alleviated this - just something that kept me immersed in the world.

Also, I didn't find the implementation sketchy so much as inconsistent. In some places, examining things brought the reward of another section of the story; in others, it was just pointless and frustrating. I think if the responses stayed in the narrator's voice throughout, it would make players more likely to examine things, rather than just mechanically work through the in-game-provided walkthrough.

And clearly this author can write! One excellent example, after you see the narrator do something that a human would never, ever do: "It hurts, but it also feels like someone is stroking your hair." (Actually, that doesn't look so great in isolation. It's better in context, but I don't want to give spoilers.) Also - "slickening"? Best portmanteau ever.

I thought the ending was disappointing. The random, nonstandard prompts were interesting, but the actual ending (well, endings - two are possible, but both have the same flaw) was generic to the point of meaninglessness. (And yes, I did notice the cues that explained who both the people in the final scene were.)

I want to make it clear that I did like Deadline Enchanter, and I do think it's worth playing; I wouldn't go on about the flaws at such great length if I didn't like it. There were typos, but I actually didn't care, for once. I just really want to have been able to give it five stars, but the inconsistent implementation and the disappointing ending meant I couldn't.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Recursive IF, December 4, 2009
by TempestDash (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Deadline Enchanter is one of a relatively small set of games that turns the player-parser relationship on its head a bit. Typically, the PC is unaware of your (the playerís) existence, and the parser invisibly takes your commands and transforms them into thoughts that appear to originate from the player characterís mind.

A few games, however, like Deadline Enchanter and, a particularly memorable example from the 2008 IFComp, Violet, change the relationship between the player and the player character by giving the parser a personality. In Violet, the PC is the significant other of the titular Violet, and Violet herself is the parser, replying the way the PCís girlfriend would, adding tidbits of information and occasional commentary on the playerís attempts to solve the puzzles.

In Deadline Enchanter, itís even more complicated. The PC in the game is another player of a piece of IF within the game world. The parser in this game is the voice of the person within the game world that wrote the IF game.

Still with me?

Itís terribly surreal at first, playing DE, but as you move through the game it starts to make more sense and you start to understand the rhythm of the game. Through the course of the game, you learn that what has occurred is that the parser, a princess trapped in a tower, has created an IF game as a means of training someone to go through the motions of freeing her. You, the player, is in essence playing someone who has found the game and is playing to figure out how to free the princess.

Itís a pretty ingenious setup in my opinion, but hard to classify and even harder to explain. The game ends up using a few narrative tricks that offer variety to the game play experience, and the ending... well, it gives the player just the slightest hesitation, in a manner designed to create player agency.

In the end, I liked it, and would encourage others to give it a try. Itís actually rather easy, and probably not terribly bad for beginners to IF. I wouldnít go into it expecting this is how most IF goes, though.

See All 9 Member Reviews

If you enjoyed Deadline Enchanter...

Related Games

People who like Deadline Enchanter also gave high ratings to these games:

Six Stories, by Neil K. Guy
Average member rating: (25 ratings)

The Recruit, by Mike Sousa
Average member rating: (8 ratings)
Try your hand at the Real Life Interactive Gaming Simulacra! You'll face a variety of challenges and simulations and have a chance to win some money and great prizes. Apply today!

Gremlins, by Brian Howarth and Teoman Irmak
Average member rating: (5 ratings)
Kingston Falls is in danger of being over-run with Gremlins, Billy has been tricked by Gizmo's offsprings into feeding them after midnight. The Mogwai have already pupated and turned into the evil Gremlins, and, led by Stripe (the...

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

Deadline Enchanter appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Metatextual Conceits by Michael Martin
Most works of IF present themselves as works of IF, to be interacted with by you, the user, much as a reader would read a novel. These games play with or reject this, by presenting themselves as some other kind of artifact, or by...

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....

Linear thriller games by MathBrush
These are games that are pretty straightforward, and which are designed to be easy enough that you can keep moving forward while hard enough to make you nervous. These games get your blood pumping.

See all lists mentioning this game

Polls

The following polls include votes for Deadline Enchanter:

Split-up PC functionality by baf
In a normal game, there is a single fictional entity that is considered to be: - The protagonist: the character that the player is meant to identify with, and whose goals you are trying to achieve - The viewpoint character: the character...

No map necessary by Divide
Pieces which can be fully enjoyed without drawing map, ideally without taking any notes whatsoever. Ones which you could play on a bus, on a break, laying on bed, etc. with nothing but a portable player. Games for which you don't need...

Artistic Games by WriterBob
I'm interested in games that take the fiction of IF to new levels. These are not straightforward, plot driven games. Think instead of games that play like poetry, or games that focus on a character's revelation.

See all polls with votes for this game

Links




This is version 7 of this page, edited by MathBrush on 8 February 2017 at 4:39pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item