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In the Claws of Clueless Bob Reviews
Author: David Whyld
Date: 2005
ADRIFT 4.0


Reviewed by Robert Rafgon

When David Whyld posted a new game announcement I was all excited, until I read the post more carefully and found out that the new game was in fact the latest in his Clueless Bob Newbie series. For those who haven't played the previous games, Clueless Bob Newbie has starred in a series of 1 and 3-hour Comp games, where he tries to inflict his terrible games on anyone in sight. I have played through some of this series, and I have to admit that they are not amongst my favourite games. Still, I decided to give this game a try. 

"In The Claws of Clueless Bob" starts out with you trying some of Clueless Bob Newbie's games, which is reminiscent of David Whyld's previous effort "The Worst Game In the World Ever...". Although these games are funny in their poor design to start off with, the poor design also means that they are nearly impossible to win without resorting to hints, and they become annoying very fast. However fortunately, the game moves on outside this setting later, although only if you pay close attention. If you are like me, then you may get stuck for a while trying to figure out how to survive the horror. And it is horror, as I hope I never have to see games like this for real. 

The second part of the game features the great escape from the claws of Clueless Bob. The humour improves, but it is still very illogical. At the end you find out that you will have to wait for the next part in the epic Clueless Bob Newbie saga. I'm not sure whether to look forward to this or not. I should say here that David Whyld maintains his usual high standard of writing throughout the game, but I'm sure you already know that he is going to do that. Unfortunately I found this game very difficult to solve without looking at the hints, especially the initial escape. 

This game is reasonable, but not great, especially when compared to some of David Whyld's recent efforts such as Second Chance. However, for some short term fun whilst you wait for the next great David Whyld game, it is worthwhile to give it a go. 

SCORE - 5/10 


Reviewed by Stefan Donati

David Whyld's newest game, 'In The Claws Of Clueless Bob', starts with a good introduction screen which gives the game a nice and professional touch. The player can choose between different options, e.g. reading the intro or starting the game directly. There's even a walkthrough included, and also a section called 'Things to know before playing the game', wherein the author describes his game as 'small and silly' and brings the hint and scoring systems to our attention. 

With these good preparations, it's time to try the game. The intro tells how Clueless Bob Newbie (CBN) is outraged about all the bad reviews of his text adventures and therefore kidnaps Mr. Smiffy, the player's character and game reviewer for a computer magazine. Clueless Bobs intention are truly evil: He'll let you play his games over and over again, until you see and praise their magnitude. After this intriguing but frightening outlook, the actual game starts. 

All your appeals to Clueless Bob Newbies mercy or your human rights have passed unheard, and he is more than keen to show you one of many games from a CD labeled '321 Masterpieces of CBN' (Vol 1). As there are no alternatives, you begin with a game called 'The Hobbyt': What in normal circumstances would be unplayable crap riddled with spelling mistakes and online slang is now turned into a funny game within a game. After 'finishing' it, Clueless Bob puts you back to the cellar, your prison cell. Under the influence of CBN, this place has become weird and uncomfortable, but remains the best location for an escape nevertheless. 

Patience is needed to elude the claws of Clueless Bob Newbie, so the suffering isn't over yet. CBN has many games for Mr Smiffy to play, among them such classic as 'the big maize game' (sic) and 'wars trek'. For a short time, a routine kicks in as you switch between playing the mini games by CBN (and telling him how utterly bad they are) and being thrown back into the cellar where you can work on your escape. This routine was broken by the sudden death of Mr Smiffy. Even though the reason for his death is well justified, it came as a big surprise to me. Thanks to the useful hint system, I survived on the next try, so I could literally eat my way out of the cellar. Relief was only a short gift, though, as I still seemed to be trapped in a strange mix between reality and CBN's universe; the game's not quite over. But eventually, a few quests later, the game ended in a somewhat obscure dystopia. 

'In The Claws Of Clueless Bob' keeps its promise and delivers a short game which is both funny and (to a certain extent) silly. The puzzles are on different difficulty levels, and although not very complex, the hints system did come in handy for me. Most of the attraction of the game is due to the small games within the game, which are terrible but hilarious reminders of how not to write text adventures. The end is odd, but that's probably the famous British humour. I was only surprised that the final score didn't trigger any witty or sarcastic comments, which I consider a missed opportunity. Still, it is a highly enjoyable game, and the sensation of trying 'north, north, north, north and north' as a command is memorable. 


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