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

Download

Play online
Full version on itch.​io (free)

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

Absence of Law

by mathbrush profile

Science Fiction
2017

Web Site

(based on 2 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

Excuse me, can you help me? Yes, you, browsing IFDB games! I need your assistance, but I don't have long. There's so much going on: remote surveillance, unauthorized cloning, forgotten languages, robots playing poker. It's time to take control!

Absence of Law is a science fiction comedy from the author of Ether and Color the Truth. This game is designed to be accessible to those who have never played parser games, while keeping a few surprises for parser experts.

The online version of this game uses non-standard colors and fonts, and has a complete musical soundtrack that can be enabled from the first menu. The download zip contains both a full offline web version (index.html) and a gblorb file with no colors or sound.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2017
Current Version: Unknown
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: 6044CE4B-8AA6-4CBE-BABC-BB339348EC5C
TUID: keqvw9c8p73wzizf

Awards

Entrant - 23rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2017)

Editorial Reviews

Dhakajack
Review: Absence of Law
This is an ambitious work: multiple levels of interaction, several shifts in player POV, lots of rooms, NPCs, and puzzles. Despite its size, it has been meticulously proofed and tested...

With everything packed into this game, it is amazing that it played as well as it did, and speaks of time spent on making sure that puzzles were clued and objectives clear, both on the part of the author and play testers. I found a couple puzzles either finicky or laborious, but that could also reflect my own self-inflicted difficulties in how I approached them.


See the full review

Narrativium
IFComp 2017 Review: Absence of Law by Mathbrush
Are text adventures getting easier, or am I just getting better at text adventures? In the case of Absence of Law, it appears they are as difficult as they have always been, they have just become an order of magnitude more user-friendly. This is a game that want you to complete it, not fight against you. It respects your time in a way games of the past did not. It has a deep understanding of the works that came before it, extracting the bits that have worked in the past, and discarding the rest. This is made clear in the AMUSING text at the end, which name-checks the influences.
See the full review

Good Old Days
This game falls into the by now well established genre of a computer simulation. I.e. the player interacts with the command prompt of a specific machine...It's a pity that my personal appreciation of this genre has somewhat waned over the years. The game is very well implemented and uses its custom command set effectively. Issues are not solved through traditional puzzles (i.e. unusual uses of objects), but rather through tinkering (i.e. examining everything from each side and giving things a good shove by default), which could be seen as a welcome change. Formally, it is a good game, but it didn't click with me thematically.
See the full review

Breakfast Reviews
It's really a fascinating setup. The verb list has been almost entirely scrapped in favour of computer commands which we pick up or lose as we go along. The game itself is divided into three main sections, puzzle set-pieces if you will, with a denouement to cap it off. All in all, very well constructed, and very well conceived, with a fine variety of enjoyable puzzles...This is one of the winners, I think. I found pretty much nothing to criticise.
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:
(2)
4 star:
(0)
3 star:
(0)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
How to constraint a parser and give 3 games for the price of 1, October 8, 2017
by Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy)
Absence of Law (which title needs to be discussed, too), is a technically perfect game, where the player needs to use a custom command line to achieve extreme results. Most of the action is given through a set of three-letters custom-commands and by looking at nested things. The interface (in the online-playable version) is customized too, and offers music as a background, a thing that I've been missing since the days of Castle of Terror (in the Eighties!).

AoL is fun to play, hard and soft here and there, and also very nice to read. It's a story that needs to be told, while keeping all the puzzles that make IF such a fantastic trip, when done properly.

There are a few drawbacks, but those are minor and strictly personal, so they won't remove a single star from the overall rating.

The language puzzle, and partly the cloning puzzle, had me fear I had to drop the game. While the latter is just a matter of trial-and-error, the former proved too hard for me. Probably, the experience was ruined not by the puzzles themselves but by the lack of time for the IFComp scope and by the availability of a walkthrough, which I reverted to too easily.

The music was precious, but sometimes a bit off. I expected it to be ghastly and in Minor, while it too often sounded like merry jingles. This links to another problem (which I admit is only in my mind): much of the content is about dystopian concepts. Although the game is referred to as "comedy", I think the fun fest at the end broke the 4th wall to me. I would have preferred a grimmer closing.

If you enjoyed Absence of Law...

Related Games

People who like Absence of Law also gave high ratings to these games:

Ragnarok: Twilight of the Gods , by Admiral Jota
Average member rating: (4 ratings)
Late night movie night at your place! Itís two AM, your friends are here, the DVD is already in the machine, and youíre ready to watch. Or are you?

Will Not Let Me Go, by Stephen Granade
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
Dallas, Texas. 1996. Fred Strickland has Alzheimer's.

Nel mondo di Ayon, by Marco Vallarino
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
The fashion reporter Vincent Morgan is on the trail of the early works of the famous graffiti artist Ayon. To locate them, he has to explore the disreputable suburb where the artist grew up.

Suggest a game

Links




This is version 11 of this page, edited by MathBrush on 18 October 2017 at 12:16pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item