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mst3k1_2.z5
Latest version (no color scheme)
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
mst3k1.z5
Silver Screen Edition
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
mst1agt.zip *
Contains MST3K1.D$$
Requires an AGT interpreter - see Brass Lantern for download links.
mst3k1.zip *
original competition release (includes source code, game file, and walkthrough)
This game requires an interpreter program - refer to the game's documentation for details.
mst3k1.inf
Silver Screen Edition
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective"

by C. E. Forman, Graeme Cree, and Stuart Moore

Mystery/Satire
1995

(based on 43 ratings)
5 member reviews

About the Story

"A rewrite of Matt Barringer's incredibly bad game "Detective", this game was ported to Inform and subjected to treatment with Mystery Science Theater 3000 sarcasm. This version is the Silver Screen edition which includes some highly amusing stuff about the game."
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 7
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 146
IFIDs:  AGT-16000-00009FB2
ZCODE-101-960831-2A15
ZCODE-7-000715-4C5D
ZCODE-101-950814-0E7D
TUID: imopnqh4llwkvfne

Spoof of Detective, by Matt Barringer

Awards

4th Place, Inform Division - First Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1995)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


For those unfamiliar with the television program, Mystery Science Theater 3000 consists of bad sci-fi movies with humorous heckling added. This game changes the medium, but keeps the spirit. Matt Barringer's Detective is mercilessly lambasted in imitation of the show's silly and irreverent style. If you've never seen the show, you might not get much out of it; if you've neither seen the show nor played Detective, you'll probably want to give this one a miss, although the use of multiple narrative voices (the original game and the commentary) is interesting once you notice it.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

PC Gamer
What makes this the perfect target is that while Detective is far from the worst text adventure ever, it’s a great example of My First Text Adventure Syndrome. The plot is nonsensical, the writer clearly never even drew a map of his world, and rooms were patently slapped together without any kind of plan or understanding of how to write a text adventure. The MST3K version doesn’t fix problems like the chief’s introduction speech being baked into the room description and thus constantly repeated, but it reacts to them all – broken directions, bizarre situations, and the Mayor’s dreaded hallways.
-- Richard Cobbett
See the full review

SynTax
[...] as it stands it's an old, bad game being subjected to ridicule. The robots while incredibly annoying are probably the best thing about this game, as at times their comments can sum up your feelings very well.
-- Nick Edmunds
See the full review

SPAG
[Reviews by Graeme Cree, Palmer Davis, Magnus Olsson, Gareth Rees and okblacke]
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(10)
4 star:
(16)
3 star:
(12)
2 star:
(4)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
One of the ones I always come back to, January 6, 2008
by Matt Poush (Des Moines, Iowa)
Every time I rediscover IF, the MST3K version of 'Detective' is one of the first things I seek out to re-play. Most works of IF would be relatively difficult to wrap in MST3K form, but Matt Barringer's Detective is so linear that it's incredibly effective. Strangers to the show may feel a little lost if they dive directly into the story, but the authors have thoughtfully created a quick primer to bring them up to speed. The character's comments/tones ring eerily true to the show and no gaffe is overlooked, from actions that happen in room descriptions, objects with bizarre adjectives, and doors that just plain weren't hooked up correctly.

Anyone who has ever been so excited to create an IF work that they dove head-first and made the game up as they went along will cringe deliciously - not only at how terrible the original game is, but how representative it is of those initial creations. Certainly, part of the amusement is at Barringer's expense (although he readily cops to how poorly written it was, and seems to take it with a grain of salt), but at least for this reviewer, an equal part of the amusement is the realization that it's no worse than what I've done; there but for the grace of God go I.

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Even worse than Detective, March 10, 2017
by Audiart (Davis, CA)
Not only is Detective virtually unplayable on its own, but the commentary so annoying that it actually detracted from the original game, making it even more unplayable than it already is. The intro is so tedious and unfunny as to be truly unbearable. The in-game jokes and asides are so obvious that they do not need to be said, and like much humour, it is much funnier to leave the obvious unsaid.

The original game is worth playing just for its infuriating unplayability, and at least has the excuse that it was made by a kid who put a minimal amount of work into this under-implemented and poorly constructed game. MST3k:Detective, on the other hand, is made by competent adults with obvious coding experience, so there is no excuse for it being as awful as it is.

If you feel like getting a kick out of playing Detective, just play the original and shake your head in wonder at its badness while inserting your own frustrated exclamations in the necessary places. You will have a much better laugh if you experience Detective firsthand and run the commentary in your own mind.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A parody of a 12-year old's detective game written with his blessing, February 3, 2016
"Detective" was an early game (written before the first IFComp) written by a 12-year old, who actually did a pretty good job for their age. However, many people judged it in reference to games by older, more experienced authors, and the game pales in comparison.

The authors of the MST3K version decided to make a parody where they play through with their commentary during the game. Usually, I would feel that it is pretty mean-spirited, but the game includes an interview with the author where he says that he's fine with this version of the game, and that he's a fan of Mystery Science Theatre.

The game is mostly fun because of its unusual format. It only really needs one playthrough; after that, you just hear the same comments over and over again, so there's not much replay value.

See All 5 Member Reviews

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