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About the Story"Zarf? you think to yourself. Could it be? The one and only Zarf? Xyzzy Award winner? IF Competition winner? The mighty Inscruitable One?
Gosh. What it must be like to be Zarf...
You begin to crawl forward, the tunnel floor oozing and pliable under your knees and palms. The secret door bangs shut and disappears. The tunnel begins to shiver, and from up ahead a roar like a waterfall issues from the darkness."
[--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]
Winner, Best Game; Nominee, Best Story; Winner, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 2000 XYZZY Awards
-- Duncan Stevens
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
I was the perfect audience for this game, or near-perfect anyway. I've seen and enjoyed Being John Malkovich, the film by Spike Jonze. I've hung around the IF scene for a long time. I've played every Plotkin game, even Inhumane. I've also played every Infocom game, which turns out to be helpful as well. Even with all that, I'm not sure I caught every reference (especially given the prodigious list of such references provided by the author in the endnotes), but I think I caught a lot of them. Consequently, I'm not sure how somebody who doesn't fulfill some or all of the above criteria would react to BAP, but I can tell you this: I thought it was a delight.
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[...] it turned out that the author very carefully both stuck to and deviated from the movie, in exactly the right way so that he could work economical fragments of humor by referencing the movie, and yet deliver jokes all his own.
-- Sean T Barrett
I found the execution of the idea hilarious (and I'm beginning to think I may have to go rent the movie if it's -anything- like this) and particularly with the bits and pieces that let you see the world in different ways (again, more under "NPCs"). To be perfectly honest, I didn't get the optimal ending, and I was in too much of a hurry to try replaying and fixing this, but for some reason that didn't faze me; perhaps just because what I'd experienced up to that point was... cool.
-- Tina Sikorski
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
I can't say I regret that decision really, I mean the experience was Pretty enjoyable. I enjoyed the dialogue options, that's not really something seen often in this medium, at least not to my knowledge. But I can't help but find the gameplay a little lackluster, you basically type what it tells you to type to advance the story, one of which I personally couldn't manage because I'm (Spoiler - click to show)Not very familiar to the way these games are coded since I use quest to make my games rather than inform. Point is, there really isn't any exploration, or puzzles, or challenges of any kind. So much so that you could probably sell this just as well, if not better, as a non-interactive fiction. A short story, a Zarf fanfic if you will.
I think I'd get a bit more enjoyment out of this game if I had watched the movie this game was based on, or played the game this game was based on,or knew a bit more about the IF community than I do at present. But despite my nitpicking, there We're Things that I enjoyed about this game, namely how the author described locations and such differently depending on the current PC, especially Zarf, I think they nailed his descriptive manner of writing fairly well. So if you're a fan of Zarf and his work, then check this game out. I'm probably just not the target demographic.
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This is version 10 of this page, edited by Zape on 24 May 2020 at 2:57pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item