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About the StoryA guided role-playing experience with some light puzzles, semi-optional combat, an extremely inexperienced GM and an imminent apocalypse.
SRPG is a browser-based parser game with some hyperlinking for convenience. Optional musical accompaniment provided at no extra charge. Chrome is strongly recommended, maximized for optimal experience.
Nominee, Best Use of Multimedia - 2018 XYZZY Awards
38th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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The game itself is a comedy. The GM makes several humorous mistakes, most notably (Spoiler - click to show)failing to load the correct module for Act 2. Instead, he loads a backup from when the story was a different genre altogether (!). The font and background color in this older module... oh, my eyes!
The GM also dialogues with some of the characters in the story. In addition, one of your items takes you aside to make some comments about the GMís ďignorance.Ē There are puns galore - groan-worthy puns that still elicit a chuckle even while youíre enduring the pun-ishment. The text itself takes a tone that can come across as silly, amusing, or hilarious, depending on your mood and tastes in comedy. In fact, I can see people having lots of different reactions to the humor in StupidRPG. For me, it worked most of the time.
Also, StupidRPG features multiple levels of awareness of itself: Youíre playing a game mediated through the voice of the parser, and that game is itself a simulation of another game mediated through the voice of the GM. Who is not entirely competent. All the different ways that these levels of awareness interacted with each other in StupidRPG was my favorite part of playing it.
The RPG elements donít seem to figure into the story much. I had a choice between several races - and, later, several professions - but these didnít seem to affect gameplay a lot. I only saw one very minor place where my race affected the text (I donít think it affected the gameplay at all). There was one important place where my profession mattered, though: (Spoiler - click to show)In the final boss battle, where my attempt to use my wizardly skills to cast a cantrip failed spectacularly and turned the final boss into a toad.
There are several monsters, but (Spoiler - click to show)you generally don't fight them. I even walked right past a troglodyte once and never interacted with him again. The exception was the endgame, where you do have a final boss to defeat.
All of this turns the experience of playing StupidRPG into something closer to a parser comedy than an RPG (which Iím sure is the intent). As a parser game, it feels fairly linear, and the puzzles tend to be straightforward. The one exception was (Spoiler - click to show)hugging the wyrmling. I'm thinking I missed a clue somewhere, but if not, I don't know how I would have ever gotten that without the walkthrough.
Overall, StupidRPG is a much cleverer game than the title would indicate - with a great deal of content and multiple levels of awareness of itself.
The biggest drawback to me is that the interface is clunky, which detracted from both my emotional investment and sense of interactivity. The game has a dungeon master that types slowly, leaving large spaces of time where you have to sit and wait for it to type out. You could leave, make a small sandwich, and come back before it finishes, sometimes. Also, the custom parser isn't up to the standards of, say, TADS or Inform 7, which caused some frustration.
The writing is amusing and the settings, especially later on, are imaginative, with puzzle mechanics involving multiple worlds. I just wish I didn't get so frustrated with the interface.
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There is an old adage: When you hear hoofbeats, think horses. However that particular piece of advice does not always hold true.
PollsThe following polls include votes for StupidRPG:
For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Use of Multimedia for 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Use of Multimedia in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to...
This is version 2 of this page, edited by Doug Orleans on 18 November 2018 at 9:14pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item