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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
The game is relatively short, taking less than an hour. The humor is mostly absurd humor, with numerous references to Zarf's fiction. I had only played a few games at the time; it is probably worth it to work through a lot of Plotkin's games (like So Far and A Change in the Weather) before playing this game, or afterwards. Unfortunately, these games are extremely hard, so if you're not a puzzle fiend, consider a walkthrough.
Great writing, mostly good puzzles, and a fun setting. I recommend it for everyone.
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