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Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die

by Rob Noyes

Joke
1996

(based on 94 ratings)
9 member reviews

About the Story

A very short game. Whatever you do, do not pick up the phone booth; well, you can guess from the title what happens if you do.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 619
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 5
Baf's Guide ID: 176
IFID: ZCODE-10859-960409-EB6F
TUID: 4gb36vjo20qpvxty

Spoofs:
Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle, by David Dyte, Steve Bernard, Dan Shiovitz, Iain Merrick, Liza Daly, John Cater, Ola Sverre Bauge, J. Robinson Wheeler, Jon Blask, Dan Schmidt, Stephen Granade, Rob Noyes, and Emily Short
Pick Up the Phone Booth and Dye, by Eric Schmidt
Followed by sequel Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die 2, by Rob Noyes
Referenced in The Amazing Maze, by Daniel Gunnell

Awards

Nominee - The hole game, Best Individual Puzzle - 1997 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


The self-proclaimed classic of minimalist design: There is a phone booth in front of you. If you pick it up, you will die. What do you do? Would be a waste of time, were it not so short as to be almost nonexistent.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(4)
4 star:
(6)
3 star:
(23)
2 star:
(29)
1 star:
(32)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 9
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Don't be hating, November 2, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
Okay, it's clearly a joke game. And yes, it's a one room game with only one item in it- the phone booth.

And as the title says, if you pick up the phone booth, you will die.

The writing is very cute. I enjoy how it your score is related, whether you die or win. (Yes, there is a winning ending). Despite other reviews, it's really not all that hard to find- I found it on my second try (after picking it up, of course!)

Don't expect too much, it's a joke game. But I've played others that aren't funny. This one was. Play it for a laugh. Then move on. But don't hate on it, because it does well what it promises to do.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
A Masterpiece for the Modern Age, September 6, 2020
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
When looking at the reviews so far for this game I am, frankly, surprised and appalled. A plurality of folks (probably well-meaning folks, but you never know) gave it only one star. Please bear with me as I dissect how very wrong they are.

I know we can't strictly rate games by their time period but one has to give credit to Rob Noyes to not falling into the traps that were common for the time.

Instant Death Rooms: None to be found. In fact, you are given fair (one might even say explicit) warning of any possible deaths. Zarf would have no choice but to give this game a merciful rating, a rarity in 1996.

Crimes Against Mimesis: None to be found. There is no need to explain why a phone booth is in a nondescript New England town in 1996, as phone booths were still fairly common. Even the haunting message from the operator one hears upon victory (is it victory?) is a testament to the harsh realities of telecommunication in the nineties.

Unrealistic Inventory Restrictions: None to be found. In fact, much like today's games that aren't as obsessed with inventory, you are strongly discouraged here from carrying anything!

Guess The Verb: I found at least one synonym for the game-winning action, and the most obvious verb is used anyway. One might argue that the puzzle itself is a leap of logic, but honestly, who hasn't wanted to do that to a phone booth?

Confusing Maps: Wait, so when I go southwest from the castle entrance to the antechamber, I have to go north to get back to the castle entrance? I don't know either, man. What I can tell you is that you won't have to worry about a map. Just you, a phone booth, and your wits.

Absurd Length: Noyes really anticipated the player of 2020. Who hasn't played Curses! or The Muldoon Legacy and died a little inside from the monotony (and a little on the outside from banging one's head into the monitor)? No such worries here. You can play this entire game and still have time to take your dog for a walk or remember to feed your children.

I could go on, but needless to say if you haven't given Noyes' timeless classic a try then you've probably lived too complicated a life.

8 of 15 people found the following review helpful:
Disappointing, April 20, 2008
by Tracy Poff (Hamlin, West Virginia, United States)
Related reviews: XYZZY Awards 1997
There's just not enough here to satisfy. One does not expect a joke game to be a great work of art, but does expect (or rather hope) that it should be funny. PUTPBAD isn't very funny to begin with, and I don't particularly like the style of 'humour' that relies on insulting the player, as PUTPBAD does when you lose. Winning, too, is unsatisfying, and the humour is similarly unamusing, though not abusive.

In short, the only thing this game has to recommend it is that it is well-known. It is not worth playing for its own sake.

See All 9 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die:

One room games by cpuguy
I would like to know what one room games are available. I enjoyed the acorn court, and am looking for more similar games.

Best IF Titles by Fredrik
No doubt you have played some great games with great titles, or been disappointed to find games with great titles that did not hold up to expectations. What are the best titles of IF? They can be funny, elegant, evocative, or whatever...

Canonicity and IF by juliaofbath
I'm interested in determining whether or not a clear canon has emerged within the world of IF/hypertext. Of course, there is a clear critical opinion regarding which works belong to this tentative canon, but I'm interested in what...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 3 of this page, edited by Nathan on 9 September 2019 at 2:45pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item