bishopsreviews (bishopsreviews) wrote,

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IFComp 2009: "zork, buried chaos"

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

Good God. The word "serial" is spelled wrong. Don't you have to, like, specifically go out of your way to break the built-in banner code for that to happen? I am getting a sinking feeling before I even see the first room description. Also, while I'm being contrary, the game's internally stored serial number is 090725, not 099518. Where did you get 099518 from, anyways?

The actual game text is less illiterate, although stylistically about the most bare-bones thing imaginable, than this inauspicious start suggests. Implementatiowise, though, it's far weaker: clearly significant objects, like the hole in the ground, the obstructions on the slide and dead-end, and the glass wall, are not recognized as nouns.

The game goes rapidly downhill, from a storycraft perspective, after the first few rooms. The initial section is vaguely acceptable, although if opening the grey door was supposed to be an interesting puzzle, I have to admit I brute-forced it and don't know what the correct way to solve the puzzle was, if that wasn't it. But after being dumped in a maze with undescribed rooms, and having to perform an action with an object which is neither particularly usable for that action nor relevant to the obstacle in question, I'm not terribly impressed. Room descriptions stop making any particular sense, exits aren't implemented, and the quality generally declines from its already marginal standard, to the point that the walkthrough doesn't work (also, the fact that the walkthrough contains a command which specifically excludes a heavy object from being picked up suggests the author knew it wasn't immobile like it was supposed to be, and didn't bother to fix it).

In a nutshell: this game is not finished. From the coal mine on it is insufficiently implemented even to follow the walkthrough. Please do not release unfinished games to the Comp. Finish them and release them in the off-season or next year. Seriously.

Oh, and, for the reference of other players, the game is winnable in spite of the two unimplemented and apparently necessary exits, but you have to exploit some bugs and idiosyncratic behaviors, and get a little bit lucky.

Tags: if, ifcomp 2009
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