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For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
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Taco Fiction

by Ryan Veeder profile

Crime / Humor
2011

Web Site

(based on 84 ratings)
9 member reviews

About the Story

Taco Fiction is a game about crime.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Current Version: 1
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: 0FD8AE95-6CAC-44A6-A356-3B335F4C388F
TUID: 2ej7ntbmoit9ytvy

Followed by sequel Dial C for Cupcakes, by Ryan Veeder

Awards

1st Place overall; 1st Place, Miss Congeniality Award - 17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2011)

Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2011 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

XYZZY Awards
Best Writing
"The impressive thing about Taco Fiction's writing is that it handles a lot of difficult things and does a consistently good job."
See the full review

XYZZY Awards
Best Implementation
"Taco Fiction is a game about crime. There are many aspects to crime and the primary theme of the game is precariousness. You, as the nameless protagonist, are in a precarious financial state which leads you to criminal acts, and the world you occupy in Taco Fiction is itself precarious with few things exactly as they seem. With this in mind, we might expect the game's implementation to facilitate this sense of precariousness, and so it does."
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(19)
4 star:
(51)
3 star:
(14)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 9
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A flawless romp, July 22, 2017
I've been meaning to write a review of Taco Fiction for a long time, and for no particular reason at all, I figured this was the time to finally do so.

The reason I've wanted to is that Taco Fiction is a really important game to me; I first picked it up several years ago, when I was only into IF very casually (i.e., mostly doing coding exercises in Inform 7 and failing to complete Spider and Web). I had played the basic beginners' canon (Lost Pig, 9:05, De Baron...), and somehow in the midst of that, I came upon this game. Taco Fiction blew me away.

For a long time after playing it, Taco Fiction existed in my head as a prototype of what a perfect text adventure should be. And I think the reason it stuck with me (as opposed to, say, Lost Pig or Spider and Web, fine games though they are) is that it was purely fun. I have a poor head for puzzles, and I can only put with dark stuff for so long. Taco Fiction was fun. I never got stuck, I never got a default command; I was startled by (Spoiler - click to show)the cops in the diner (a masterful moment), and in the final scene my heart was sent racing. The rest of the time I spent smiling.

There are a lot of things to praise about Taco Fiction. The simulacrum of an "open world" is particularly impressive, given that this is essentially a linear game, plot-wise. The world is not huge, but there are characters who you can talk to for quite a bit longer than you would think with an expansive menu-based conversation system, and you can wander around doing essentially pointless things like purchasing and buying ice cream - but not out of adventure-game boredom, or an "amusing things to do" ethos; it's the kind of thing the PC would do, and you're free to do it as well. In between the delightfully weird, page-turning plot, of course. One with surprisingly subtle and insightful political points (in the least sordid sense of that word) to make.

Yes, I'm gushing. The reason I've put off reviewing Taco Fiction for so long is that it's hard to know what to write when something is just good. It's the game that made me excited about IF, that made me want to write my own, it turned me on to the rest of Veeder's excellent work, and it remained for years in my head the model against which all other works of IF would be compared.

Taco Fiction deserves to be canonized with the very best of modern interactive fiction.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A Lovely Little Game About Crime, March 8, 2015
by Matt W (San Diego, CA)
Digression: I know there's a lot of discussion about the impact that IFComp has had on the kind of IF offerings available from the last decade or so, and I'm glad that the XYZZY Awards and Spring Fling and ParserComp and other contests are around as well, but I really like this size of game: 10-20 rooms, can be played through in an hour or two. It's easy to keep the geography in your head and you can play through it in one sitting after putting the kids to bed.

Taco Fiction seems like a trifle: it's comedic (and quite funny), and the plot is as light as it could be in a game where you can point your gun at anyone you meet. That seems like sort of the point though; this game could have been quite bleak; the PC is desperate and doing desperate things. There's nothing in the game that needs to be funny, but the comedic touch lightens the tone enough to make it consistently compelling.

The world of the game is quite detailed, and actually becomes more of a playground for the player than it seems at first. A straight walkthrough to the best ending would miss about 75% of the content, so it's worth your while to just wander around, talking to all the NPCs and trying out different activities. There are a couple scenes that I found particularly well done (Spoiler - click to show) -- the charades and the Star Wars story are delivered perfectly -- and your initial entry into the taco shop is one of the tensest and most unnerving scenes I've played in any IF. (Spoiler - click to show) Consider the clear uneasiness of the PC from the first moments of the game, the litany of actions that you're going to take, that disturbing painting which catches your eye as you walk in, then the masterful revelation about the bikers. It all functions exquisitely to ratchet up the tension. There are no really difficult puzzles here, just a lovely little game about crime.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
If you're blue and don't know where to go to, try out this game!, April 27, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
Taco Fiction has one of the more intriguing openers Iíve ever played. You are a petty thief in need of some cash, and the opening prompt gives you specific directions on how youíre going to rob the taco joint next door. If the protagonist were the violent sort this could be off-putting, but the game lets you know he has no interest in hurting anyone.

What follows is an unexpectedly light, mostly comical (but at times tense!) mystery that takes you in bizarre and unexpected directions. The NPCs are delightful and respond appropriately to what you do with your gun. The puzzles are also light, well-clued, and set the appropriate pacing. My only main criticism is the endgame, which feels a bit rushed and unsatisfying. I felt like the game was just starting to explore the characters and setting and then it was over. At least there are a couple of endings available depending on your motivations for the character at the end.

See All 9 Member Reviews

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Recommended Lists

Taco Fiction appears in the following Recommended Lists:

List of games with 'forced input' by dutchmule
This is a list of games which use a specific text effect, which I call "forced input" here (don't know if it has a better name): it's when the game shows you a command prompt, but regardless of what the player types, the command that...

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Taco Fiction:

Story of your life by Nadya Sanders
MASH-like story line. Just for fun and there's no real goal or point.

PC's personality integrated with the story by JasonMel
I would like to be able to recommend to someone many examples of interactive fiction in which the player character is far from a cipher or an everyman or everywoman, but is instead a character with a definite personality within a game...

Comfort Food IF by Molly
Lately I've been chasing away the blues by playing through my IF backlog. This made me wonder, what IF do you play as a pick-me-up? Maybe it's something that calms and soothes you, maybe it's really funny, or maybe it just distracts you...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Jason McIntosh on 8 April 2014 at 1:01pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item