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25th Place - 5th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1999)
-- Duncan Stevens
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
The 1996 IF competition was won by a Graham Nelson game with the highly improbable name The Meteor, The Stone And A Long Glass Of Sherbet. Since then, every year we've had at least one entrant with a long, silly name. In 1997, there was The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf and Phred Phontious and the Quest for Pizza. In 1998, we had I Didn't Know You Could Yodel. And this year, David Fillmore brings us Spodgeville Murphy and the Jewelled Eye of Wossname. Is there a causal relationship here? Probably not. More likely, a long and goofy title allows the author to set up some basic expectations about the work at hand. In essence, titles like this say: "Check me out! Boy, am I wacky! Prepare to be taken on a zany and madcap adventure through an absurd universe!" However, the comparison with "Meteor" is instructive in the following way: having set up the above expectation, Nelson subverted it by using a silly and comedic scenario (riding an elephant next to an aristocratic airhead) as the entry point into what became a rather atmospheric and austere cave adventure. The surprise value of this shift lent strength to the sense of wonder that the game worked to impart. His successors, on the other hand, have struggled vainly to live up to the wacky promise of their titles, providing a few funny moments along the way but generally falling far short of the joy of coherent absurdity. Wossname, sadly, is no exception.
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This is one of the funniest adventure spoofs I've played in ages, and its extreme brevity means that the humour never has time to wear thin. From the two-screen introduction (essential reading if you want to learn how to access the hint system) to the final move, SPODGE entertained and amused me for a solid thirty minutes.
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A tiny but tricky humorous parody of Indiana Jones+Zork, July 16, 2017
This game borrows some text from and parodies Francesco Bova's The Jewel of Knowledge, and credits that author.
I liked it, but it was annoying trying to figure out the correct syntax and logic of the three main puzzles.
I like to think that during the last 8 years after the publication of SMatJEoW (yikes!) the author has been expanding it to a full-blown game and just waits for the right moment to publish it. One has to have dreams, right...?
This is version 3 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 21 March 2013 at 2:24pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item