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About the StoryA man who has lost his mind.
A mouse who has lost his realm.
A dog who has lost his family.
And the scientist who will save the world.
14th Place (tie) - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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This is a funny game in a very particular genre: the 'gain powers by eating' genre. Other games in this genre include portions of Spore and the Adrift game Mangiasaur.
Using Vorple, En Garde replaces the parser command line with colored buttons. These buttons are, at first, unlabeled. This represents your mental state. You begin this game as a weak, unintelligent creature, but quickly become more intelligent and powerful, and your options change accordingly.
This game is short and not too complex, puzzle- and story-wise. However, it's value is boosted by its amusing dialog between various species and people., which elevates it from a 4 star game to a 5 star game for me.
In fact, I think En Garde does a very good job of capturing this experience. At first, you're just lumbering around, and you have a limited set of actions. But you don't know exactly what those are; they're represented by colored buttons. By experience you learn what clicking on each one does, and you have to remember.
(Warning: This is a major spoiler.) Then, (Spoiler - click to show)you eat a mouse's brains. Which is weird. You get access to the mouse's thoughts and begin to think in a mouse-y way. Then you find a dog, and you eat its brains. Which gives you a few more abilities, and now you have the mouse and the dog in your head. By this point you have nearly ten colored buttons to click for actions, but you still have to remember which button does what. I felt like I was an animal being trained in some experiment: Click the right button, and earn the right action (the reward) from the game.
Then you find a slice of brain that turns out to be human. At this point I'm thinking, "Am I a zombie?" Then eating the human brain slice gives you the words that go with the buttons, and the room descriptions improve. Now I'm thinking, "This game is World War Z meets Flowers for Algernon." And sure enough, that's exactly what it is!
I really enjoyed En Garde, but a couple of things stood out:
1. The PC's progression over the course of the game, especially (Spoiler - click to show)watching the room names and descriptions change.
2. The dialog between (Spoiler - click to show)the various consciousnesses going on in the PC's head.
The cover of En Garde is a parody of the cover of the old Infocom game A Mind Forever Voyaging; its title is a bilingual pun.
En Garde was the second fun, well-written Inform/Vorple gem by Jack Welch I played in IFComp 2018.
Funny story with clever interface, November 9, 2018
(Spoiler - click to show) the info dump when you first meet the doctor and the way the game ends so abruptly (at least that's what it felt like to me) . Overall a fun game with a clever interface that only takes 30-45 minutes to play through, but nothing spectacular.
If you enjoyed En Garde...
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Recommended ListsEn Garde appears in the following Recommended Lists:
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A few months ago, I thought, "There really aren't that many sci-fi IF games". Then I started going through old games I had played, and downlaoded TADS, and was shocked at how many great sci-fi games there are. This is a list of my...
PollsThe following polls include votes for En Garde:
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Implementation for 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Implementation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to...
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