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Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle - 2002 XYZZY Awards
19th Place - 8th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2002)
If I had to describe this game in one word, I would pick "crazy." This game, or series of mini-games, is wacky. Yes, it makes some sort of weird sense, but you will probably only get a headache trying to figure it all out. No, it is not confusing. The stories or sections in themselves are easily understood. Trying to put all of them together and figure out what the author's point is will drive you crazy, so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
-- Tony Baechler
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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
[T]his is an excellent work of IF, and a fascinating metatreatise on "puzzleless" IF in general.
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The games vary in enjoy ability. One of the games was actually quite enjoyable, with dynamic constraints. The other two were not very exciting.
The writing is melodramatic; it really reminded me of what you might expect if you told a university English class to "write something deep". It's hard to tell, though, if the author is doing this purposely or not, which is a point in the game's favor.
There is unnecessary profanity in the first game, a strange departure from the tone of the rest of the game.
For those who have played through all three games and read all of the author's additional notes and material:
(Spoiler - click to show)There is a fourth "endgame" which, I believe, is what the author refers to when he says part of the game is inspired by House of Leaves. At first, I really enjoyed this game, but then I began to realize that the game seems to place the new staircase only when a large percentage of the map has been explored, and then places it in the unexplored spot closest to the entryway. Because of the House of Leaves reference, I do not believe this puzzle is intended to be solved.
The best section is the third, because there are more things to try, even if in the end the lesson is the same. I gave up on the final section after I realized that (Spoiler - click to show)the Rogue-like dungeon never ends, there's nothing to do apart from map it, and it's designed so that the next staircase doesn't appear until you've mapped most of a level. Certainly in line with the rest of the game, but no less frustrating for all that.
Your attitude toward the "game" will probably depend on your tolerance for frustration. It's an interesting and worthy experiment.
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This is version 3 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 17 April 2013 at 4:59am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item