Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In


Windows Application (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.
Mac OS Application (Compressed with StuffIt, encoded in BinHex format. Free StuffIt Expanders are available for most systems at www.stuffit.com.)
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang

by Neil deMause

Episode 1 of Frenetic Five

(based on 13 ratings)
2 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 1.1
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Forgiveness Rating: Tough
Baf's Guide ID: 95
IFIDs:  TADS2-856063F9C4235FE9221EAC710273E8DE
TUID: 4lyivfptn0eed4a1


Winner, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 1997 XYZZY Awards

13th Place - 3rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1997)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A humorous superhero story, patterned after the likes of The Tick. Your intrepid team and their unlikely powers are up against a German film-director-turned-supervillain. But before they even can begin, they face challenges like finding the keys to their house and figuring out which bus to take. Very funny, but poorly designed; puzzles late in the game depend on having collected random detritus in the beginning, with the result that you'll probably have to page through some longwinded oratory multiple times.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

The Frenetic Five has an excellent premise and, on the level of prose, an excellent execution. However, interface design and implementation are too important to be treated the way this game treats them, and it suffers for it. I'm still waiting for the game that does superheroes just right.
See the full review

The non-event locations made for a gappy plot structure with sporadic bursts of activity. I don't know if these were designed as red herrings, padding or just vehicles for a gag, but they certainly succeeded in slowing me down as I was convinced I was missing something.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Great Premise, Terrific Writing, Poor Execution, March 16, 2009
I was a big fan of "The Tick" back when the animated series was on. One of my favorite jokes from the series was the hapless group of pseudo-superheroes known as the Civic-Minded Five, whose absurdly ineffective "powers" consisted of things like having four legs or being able to deliver static electricity shocks. Neil deMause may or may not have been familiar with the Civic-Minded Five, but it seems likely that he was, as the characters in this game are clearly cast from the same mold.

You are Improv, leader of the Frenetic Five, a group of part-time superheroes in between gigs. Your superpower is coming up with MacGyver-like plans, which is no doubt the result of long hours of radiation received while watching the show on TV. You are trying to do just that, as a matter of fact, when your team's junior member, Newsboy, arrives to announce that evil is afoot... and it's up to you to stop it!

I must congratulate Mr. deMause for his writing talents. The story unfolds and the personalities of your teammates emerge in a convincingly lifelike way through various timed scenes. The jokes come fast and often, and several had me laughing outright. Everywhere the author paid care and attention, the payoff for the player is delightful.

Unfortunately, the care and attention the author paid seems to be wildly uneven. High expectations set by the opening scenes rapidly dwindled once I left the apartment, and by the time I reached the ostensible goal of the evil villains' hideout, the game world had lost its fizz and gone flat. I ran out of patience and resorted to a walkthrough, which left me totally bewildered as to how anyone could realistically have completed the game without it.

It's possible that I just missed an awful lot, that I couldn't tune into the author's wavelength and just didn't interact the right way. However, it seems far more likely that this work is simply unfinished as a result of of trying to get it out the door in time for that year's IF Comp, where it placed 13th. It's really a shame, since the story's universe held a lot of promise and left me hungry for more, despite the relatively unenjoyable time I had trying to reach the end. The good news is that there are two additional Frenetic Five titles out there that I have not yet played, and which I hope earn higher scores.

The coding quality is competent. What works, works well, and I encountered no notable bugs. It's obvious that Mr. deMause has it in him to produce some truly top-notch interactive fiction -- even half-baked, The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang did take the "Best NPC" Xyzzy Award for 1997, which is no small achievement. I look forward to playing more from this author.

A goofy, mid-length superhero game with clever writing and odd puzzles, February 3, 2016
This is one of the most well-known examples of a superhero game, due to the fact that there were 3 of these games in a series (the same is true of the slightly-better-known Earth and Sky series).

You are part of a team of 5 mismatched superheros with odd powers (like one knowing the definition of every word in every language). You have to stop two villains named Sturm and Drang.

About a third of the game is getting out of your apartment, a third is getting to the villains, and a third is the climax. Each ability is used once, although I'm still not sure what the main character's ability is.

The puzzles are just an odd mismatch, and not really coherent. It's probably better to use a walkthrough and see the whole thing.

If you enjoyed The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang...

Related Games

People who like The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang also gave high ratings to these games:

Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota
Average member rating: (392 ratings)

Last Minute Gift, by A. Bomire
Average member rating: (5 ratings)

The Castle of Vourtram, by Alexandre Torres
Average member rating: (6 ratings)
The Kingdom of Gwalinad is in its last days of existence. The evil wizard Vourtram, aided by an army of demoniac creatures, razed most of the old cities, spreading terror everywhere. When the capital Linwynne fell, the loyal forces of...

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Best superhero games by MathBrush
These are games featuring superheros, with my thoughts on them. I haven't tried the Frenetic Five games yet.

Noteworthy Games Which Can't Be Played on the Web by Walter Sandsquish
Because TADS 2 is still missing a TADS Web UI or Glk server or a JavaScript 'terp.

Danielle's Classic IF List by Danielle
Traditional adventure games, filled with happy puzzles. Only thing is, you don't need a fancy video card to see the great graphics. Instead, just add imagination.


The following polls include votes for The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang:

Up, Up, and Away: IF starring super heroes by Molly
It's often been said that super-heroes are a poor fit for IF, given the reliance of the former on flashy, colorful costumes and fights. But let it never be said that some poor bastards didn't try. What are some notable attempts at...

Multi-Part Games by Bloodsong
I was wondering just how many games out there, either completely text based, or text-adventure hybrids, are out there that involve a story line over the course of several games. I know for sure of the Sorcerer trilogy from Infocom...any...


This is version 4 of this page, edited by Khalisar on 26 July 2015 at 7:33am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item