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Source code for Absence of Law
This is the source code for Absence of Law. It is available under the (CC BY 3.​0 US) license. It includes the inform code for room-by-room music, but not the javascript code (which can be found in the IFarchive ifcomp folder).
Plain gblorb (no styling or music)
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Absence of Law

by mathbrush profile

Science Fiction
2017

Web Site

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
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: 6044CE4B-8AA6-4CBE-BABC-BB339348EC5C
TUID: keqvw9c8p73wzizf

Off-Site 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.


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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.
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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.
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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.
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Fantastische Wissenschaftlichkeit
n Absence of Law empfängt man einen virtuellen Hilferuf vom titelgebenden Dr. Law, einem verstorbenen Wissenschaftler, dessen Bewusstsein gerade noch so auf seinen Computer übertragen werden konnte. Es ist dringend: der Akkustand ist niedrig! Dennoch wird der Spieler – der vom Betriebssystem fälschlicherweise für Dr. Law gehalten wird – zunächst mal dazu aufgefordert, dessen alltäglichen Pflichten nachzukommen...Insgesamt wirken die einzelnen Teile des Spiels etwas willkürlich zusammengewürfelt. Die Implementierung ist aber so gut gelungen, dass man kaum auf Fehler und Widerstände trifft.
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Doug's World
I enjoyed Rushton's previous competition entries "Color the Truth" and "Ether". I waited until late in the competition to play "Absence" because I suspected it would be a good one and I wanted to end the 2017 season with a good experience. I was not disappointed...I might describe these different play modes as "gamelets", a series of puzzles which are each solidly coded and fun but which could almost stand alone as amusing diversions. By mid-game I was starting to feel like the science fiction elements of the story had been contrived to host this collection of puzzles.
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A Colossal Adventure

In the ending acknowledgments, the author mentions that the puzzles are meant to be a sort of greatest hits of their favorite IF puzzles, which is definitely not a bad thing. There’s some well-executed classics here, like assembling parts of a language you don’t quite understand, mixed in with equally pleasing new tricks, like sorting a list of randomly generated objects into categories. Everything in the game is controlled through remote commands and viewed through cameras, which both puts a new spin on things as there’s no traditional inventory management, and eliminates guess-the-verb problems as all of your possible commands are easily listed at any time.

This is not just a puzzle game, though. The story holding it together is fairly slight, but entertaining and well written.
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Page Update History

  v.19: 30-Mar-2018 13:05 - MathBrush (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed download links
v.18: 27-Nov-2017 13:20 - MathBrush
Changed download links
v.17: 25-Nov-2017 11:35 - MathBrush
Changed download links
v.16: 25-Nov-2017 11:34 - MathBrush
Changed download links
v.15: 13-Nov-2017 01:27 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.14: 10-Nov-2017 14:05 - MathBrush
Changed development system
v.13: 06-Nov-2017 01:12 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.12: 01-Nov-2017 22:25 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.11: 18-Oct-2017 12:16 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.10: 18-Oct-2017 12:13 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.9: 11-Oct-2017 16:33 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.8: 10-Oct-2017 09:52 - MathBrush
Changed Web site URL, download links
v.7: 07-Oct-2017 12:32 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.6: 07-Oct-2017 12:29 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.5: 06-Oct-2017 14:54 - MathBrush
Changed external review links
v.4: 05-Oct-2017 14:47 - MathBrush
Changed description
v.3: 01-Oct-2017 16:53 - MathBrush
Changed IFIDs, genre, forgiveness
v.2: 01-Oct-2017 16:38 - CMG
Changed cover art
v.1: 01-Oct-2017 16:38 - CMG
Created page