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Blue Chairs

by Chris Klimas

Surreal
2004

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(35)
4 star:
(16)
3 star:
(21)
2 star:
(9)
1 star:
(4)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 86
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A classic of Story IF, July 1, 2018
by osfameron
Related reviews: If Comp 2004
This was my favourite game of IFComp 2004, and I always felt that "it wuz robbed" with its (admittedly pretty creditable) 2nd place: it had the most 9s and 10s of any of the games, by some distance, but also divided opinion.

Essentially it's Story IF, and many people much preferred the (incomprehensible to me) All Things Devours which took 3rd place. In any case, it's no surprise that Klimas went on to invent the Twine system for hyperfiction. But how does Blue Chairs -- a parser game, implemented in Inform rather than hypertext -- stack up, more than a decade later?

The implementation is pretty strong. Most of the things you want to do have well-written responses that push the game forward, and the scenes that span multiple turns are well handled. I did find myself jumping to the hints more often than perhaps I should for a story-centric game, perhaps a more modern version of this would hint things better, or have alternative solutions presented automatically?

(On a side note, it says something about these times that the desert scene made me oddly nostalgic.)

I don't know if Klimas found Parser IF limiting, or just harder to write (this was Inform 6, written in an OO-style, as it predated Inform 7's rule-based, "natural language" style.)

In any case, Blue Chairs is a classic of Story IF. It has its flaws, but it's well worth a read.

- Guenni (At home), February 15, 2018

- Sobol (Russia), June 5, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Beautiful story, much left ambiguous, March 16, 2016
I loved it - it develops into something not at all what you'd expect from the beginning, becoming a beautifully poignant tale with great writing- it gets a bit flabby in the middle (Spoiler - click to show)around the maze section as the story doesn't really develop there, and some might not even realise how far it goes, with some of the early possible endings.
I agonised over whether it was a 4/5 star piece- there are a couple of puzzles you'll need to use the hint system for-
But it has some really wonderful insightful and affecting writing- was surprised how young the author was when he wrote this, from the supporting documentation! Really beautiful, although much is still left very ambiguous.

- E. W. B., March 2, 2016

- Mergath, February 25, 2016

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Long, trippy journey through a surreal landscape, February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours
Blue Chairs is (literally) trippy. After an interesting transaction at a college party, you take a surreal journey through this world and variants of it. Something like an adaptation of Dante's Inferno by James Joyce.

The game contains drug references and strong profanity.

The puzzles are mostly reasonable, although I needed a walkthrough in the convenience store.

As a literary work, it is well written and well done. As a game, the puzzles are interesting and well-connected with the story.

However, I don't really recommend the game. I didn't like the atmosphere and feeling of the game. Everyone's tastes are different, and many people will enjoy this game, but I felt uncomfortable with parts of it.

- Aryore, December 13, 2015

- ibelongia, June 4, 2015

- chux, May 20, 2015

- Thrax, March 11, 2015

- Katrisa (Houston), December 31, 2014

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
One heck of a Ride!, December 31, 2014
by Chai Hai (Kansas City KS)
I enjoyed this immensely. Several different settings, and a nice plot too. A lot of thought was put into this, it's extremely well written.

My biggest concern was the store maze. That certainly got repetitive ( had to look at the walkthrough to figure the end of that out) but I loved the people you met in the supermarket. The rooms you went into were unique enough to keep me satiated, and I wasn't too annoyed by the maze.

I loved this game's theme of life changes, it was really poignant and definitely gave you a lot to think about. Bravo!

- glasslioness, November 2, 2014

- Joshua Houk, October 18, 2014

- kala (Finland), August 9, 2014

- IFforL2 (East Asia), July 16, 2014

- Herah, June 18, 2014

- boxesoffoxes, April 21, 2014

- Simon Deimel (Germany), January 2, 2014

- Cloud-Of-Judgement (Eastern Europe), December 12, 2013

- Egas, August 4, 2013

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

Klimas has a hold of something very powerful -- interactive fiction steeped in surrealism and symbolism. This sort of thing has been tried before, but Blue Chairs is the best realization of it that I've seen.

You wrote this review - Revise it | Add a comment

- verityvirtue (London), March 31, 2013

- Fluffy_Cakes, March 10, 2013


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