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The Day I stabbed Stalin

by Marius Müller profile

Episode 3 of The Alex and Paul Series
Romance
2010

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Badly flawed, but not all bad, July 30, 2012
by Karl Ove Hufthammer (Bergen, Norway)
This is the third Speed-IF game in the Alex and Paul series (‘The Day I …’), and is structured very similarly to the first two games. It too takes place at a New Year’s party at your boyfriend’s apartment (but which for some unexplained reason is mirrored this year, with the living room to the east of the hallway, which left me disoriented for a while), and has a few easy to moderately difficult puzzles. But where you in the first two games basically were handed the puzzles by boyfriend and told what to do, here you have to figure that out yourself, at least for the first two puzzles. This doesn’t work so well, and for some time I wandered around not knowing even what I should be attempting to do. The actual solving of the puzzles is also made somewhat too hard by a few ‘guess the verb’ and ‘guess the noun’ problems.

As in the previous games, there are plenty of spelling and grammar issues, and the implementation leaves a lot to be desired (though there are some minor technical improvements compared to the earlier games). But there is also some good stuff here, like the humour, the best example being the remarks of Uncle Wally, a real sexist pig, which I found hysterical. If you have enjoyed the humour and the absurd situations in the first two games in the series, you will probably enjoy playing this one too. (Though personally, I feel less and less sympathy for the main (player) character, who in this game really comes across as a terrible person. However, the titles of the next games in the series leave me with some hope that this will change.)

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A hasty IF saved by some clever humor, November 26, 2010
by The Year Is Yesterday (California)
Although this is apparently the third game in a series, it's my introduction to the saga of Alex and Paul, and to the author's work as a whole. Based on what I've seen here, I'll probably be checking out more at some point in the future.

This was written for a Speed IF comp, so room descriptions and implementation tend toward the simplistic. To save time, everything seems to have been nailed down, so you'll be seeing a lot of odd messages like this one:

>take purses
That's fixed in place.

There are also some spelling and punctuation issues, including one in the intro paragraph. The most notable is the dropped apostrophe for things belonging to Paul: "Pauls garden," "Pauls pool," etc. Thankfully, these are not egregious enough to distract from either gameplay or story.

Speaking of story, this title relies heavily on humor. Luckily for us, most of it is genuinely funny. Some of it is meta-humor: for instance, the speakers in the kitchen were playing "Custom Library Messages" by David Fisher when I first entered. There's an object in the same room described as "(unimplemented) cheese," the description of which is "You can't see any such thing. (See? I told you so.)" Unfortunately, other actions result in that ubiquitous fixed-in-place message, spoiling the humor somewhat. There's also plenty of humor related to the world these characters inhabit: aliens have invaded, apparently recently, so everything has been replaced by AlienTech (tm) technology. There are also a group of Dagon cultists who live next door, and a sleeping pirate.

The story does deal with same-sex relationships, which runs the risk of offending people who might be offended by that sort of thing. I was nervous, when I first started, that I was going to be treated to a bunch of jokes along the lines of "gay people are funny lol." Thankfully, Alex and Paul are charming as a couple, if a little sketched out, and Paul's uncle, who follows the PC around making homophobic remarks, is hilariously unlikeable. A few examples of his dialogue (the second shows some of the sloppy writing, but this is about as bad as that gets):

"Alex, me boy! Didn't know I had to keep my back to the wall at this party! Haw! Haw!" He slaps you on the shoulder. "Ha ha, just kidding! I have nothing against queers personally!"

"You know how we could solve this finanical crisis? Just disallow women to work! They're stealing hard working men's job worse then foreigners."

In all, the humor is enough to carry this title as a whole, and gameplay is surprisingly robust for a Speed IF. I did run into a brick wall, literally, when I found that certain items it seemed that I needed for a puzzle couldn't be transported over the wall to Paul's garden or into his swimming pool (I needed two hands to climb or swim). Hopefully a walkthrough or hint system will be implemented later on, because I'm looking forward to seeing how this clever tale concludes.


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