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bookvol.z5
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Book and Volume

by Nick Montfort

Science Fiction
2005

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 8
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 2835
IFID: ZCODE-8-051225-F1A0
TUID: timl7wld6zp9otsf

Off-Site Reviews

Arthouse Games
Mr. Montfort is obviously a solid prose writer, and his descriptions are what bring the 24-block city of nTopia to life. Within this artificial world, he tells a relatively simple story, at least in terms of surface-level plot points: Some servers in the city are down, and you need to reboot them; a user needs tech support; another server is down. Beyond completing the various maintenance tasks that are assigned by your in-game boss, the rest of the story---I'll call it the sub-plot---seems to be optional. [...]

The main weakness of Book and Volume is in the "gameplay" department. The tasks you are assigned in the main plotline are rather trivial and don't mesh with the more interesting sub-plot. That may be part of the point---an exploration of the monotony of working life---but I don't seek monotony when I read fiction. The sub-plot is so well-buried that most people will never find it (again, this may be part of the point, but it still makes for a not-so-interesting experience). To uncover the true core of the piece, you need to explore the city with a fine-toothed comb and closely examine objects that, upon their first mention, seem unremarkable.
See the full review

Play This Thing!
Too retro for the conventional market, but finding another outlet: it's a highly literary work with serious artistic ambitions, recognized by the Iowa Review of all things...
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SPAG
Book and volume, Nick Montfort's latest work, possesses two fundamental virtues: it is extraordinarily entertaining and intellectually stimulating. It also has one problem: it hides these virtues with a lot of talent. The arbitrary deaths, the large number of ways of getting stuck in an unwinnable position, and the never too clear statement of the final objective of the game play against it.
-- Jose Manuel Garcia-Patos

The game has stripped-down prose that only contains essentials. The interiors of buildings are in a few sentences at most. For example, your apartment consists of a couch and some clothes and no other rooms. The NPCs do not generally stick around to chat and those that do arenít particularly helpful. This helps keep you focused on what needs to be done, and you donít spend time needlessly performing useless actions. This terse approach gave the game a cold, impersonal feel that may or may not be what the author was striving for. At times this approach was frustrating.
-- Neil Butters
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Page Update History

  v.8: 13-Apr-2013 06:19 - Edward Lacey (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed genre, external review links
v.7: 02-Apr-2011 14:02 - eu
Changed download links
v.6: 02-Apr-2011 14:01 - eu
Changed download links
v.5: 11-Jul-2008 14:58 - Ron Newcomb
Changed download links
v.4: 11-Jul-2008 14:56 - Ron Newcomb
Changed download links
v.3: 11-Jul-2008 14:40 - Ron Newcomb
Changed cover art
v.2: 05-Apr-2008 11:47 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:50 - IFDB
Created page