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The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction

Missing Person Reviews
Author: Yingying Wu
Date: 2007
ADRIFT 4.0


 


Reviewed by David Whyld

From a game called Missing Person recently added to the main ADRIFT site:

“Missing Person
That was the autumn of 1940. I have been working in a private detective's office for eight years. My boss Jimmy was going to retire.
Eight years ago, there was one day, when Jimmy came to me and said:
You can work in my office although you have lost your memory.
Your name is Guy Roland from now on. ”

Bad, very bad. Speech without speech marks. Past and present tense mixed up. Punctuation in the wrong places. I've been playing the game for less than a minute and already I'm wanting to quit.

Yes, this was another ‘game’ (for want of a better word) that was recently uploaded to the main ADRIFT site. Under the ‘full games’ section as well. Some newbies make a genuine effort to impress people with their first games, realising, of course, that first impressions are all important and if you don’t succeed in hooking people right at the start you're never likely to hook them full stop. Others… well, others write games like this.

Let’s persevere, though, shall we? Let’s play this game a little further. Maybe it improves. Maybe it becomes a masterpiece. Maybe…

Maybe it continues to stink. One location is described as

“Old apartment
Marry is here.”

That’s the entire description. Dear god.

I wandered around some more. I got hit with several error messages because the map was too complex and could not be drawn. Quality game testing here and no mistake.

The will to live is beginning to escape me. I check the Generator to see what the game is all about. The very first task I see is “order” which is used to order food. But “order food” doesn’t work, nor does “buy food” or anything similar. A little further down – task 3 to be precise – is “hand jimmy goodbye”. Er… what? I had to open up the task and see what that was. Turns out that “hand jimmy goodbye” is the broken English equivalent of “shake jimmy's hand”. Other amusing tasks I come across are “see * bedroom”, “leave old apartment” (a simple directional command not good enough for you?), “knock the door”. I quit right then.

The writer is listed as Yingying Wu who unfortunately seems to have as poor a grasp of the English language as he does of writing games in ADRIFT: a) he’s not a native English speaker, b) he hasn’t bothered getting a native English speaker to test his game (considering the sheer amount of language problems on show here) and c) this is a bad, bad game.

 


 

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