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Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die

by Rob Noyes

Joke
1996

(based on 89 ratings)
8 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 6
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

Awards

Nominee, 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:
(3)
4 star:
(6)
3 star:
(21)
2 star:
(28)
1 star:
(31)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 8
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


11 of 12 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.

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Other Games Do It Better, March 25, 2012
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: rob noyes, one-room, short
Play it if: you have fairly low standards for joke IF.

Don't play it if: you prefer a bit more elegance in your parodies.

In brief, Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die is a punchline game, where the whole point of the thing is just one big joke. This doesn't have to make it bad, but while games such as Adam Cadre's 9:05 and even Ian Haberkorn's Conan Kill Everything accomplish this with some degree of elegance, Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die has basically no replay value - because its joke is one-note. A funnier and thus more effective game might have resulted if the objective had been to avoid picking up the phone booth at all costs, in spite of various incentives to do so.

There's not much to say about a game that has so little to recommend it and so little to damn it. It's too insubstantial to even be considered a waste of time, but that's not really a good reason to play it, is it?

8 of 14 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 8 Member Reviews

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Honorable Mentions by mjhayes
These are pieces of IF that were written with a specific writing concept in mind. They deserve mention for their respective authors' efforts.

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Polls

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

Solved without Hints by joncgoodwin
I'm very interested in hearing truthful accounts of at least somewhat difficult games (or games that don't solve themselves at least) solved completely without recourse to hints, walkthroughs, etc.

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...

Games with non-standard directions by Andrew Schultz
I'm wondering about games (primarily parser) with weird directions beyond NW/SW/SE/NE, up, down or inside/outside. I like the example in the Inform docs (Charles S. Roberts) about hexagonal directions but have no clue how to go about...

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 11 March 2008 at 7:39pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item