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The Hangover Reviews
Author: Red Conine
Date: 2009
ADRIFT 3.9


Reviewed by Philip Armstrong

I’ve played some bad games in this competition so far but none of them were classically bad (though Invisible Man comes close). With The Hangover by Red Conine I finally got to play a traditional terrible comp game.

The Hangover is the kind of game Richard Bos complained about in his Eruption rant. It is full of spelling and grammar errors, room connections aren’t consistent (and rooms aren’t always in the direction the game describes them being), it’s badly implemented and many nouns have no descriptions, and the puzzles require much guessing of verbs.

But there is a certain charm to it. The writing is terrible, but in a very particular way that, if the game had been written by an author in control, would have been hilarious. The game doesn’t start with an intro or even a room description, just a command line. This, combined with the confusing way that the rooms are tied together, actually does a lot to create the feeling of waking up from a heavy night of drinking. I’m sure this effect was unintentional. Again, in the hands of a better author this would have been a neat trick.

The game does offer some accidental hilarity. Here are some choice bits:

> read mail
“Dear Sir, the 42nd Bank of America request that you come to our offices as you have failed to change your name on the card after you changed your own name. If you do not come to our offices and change the name on the card this said card will become useless.” You changed you name? What the hell did you do last night?

I would love if my bank sent me notifications like this, instead of the dry “your account is overdrawn” letter they normally send me.

Tennant Street
This is just a normal street. Not in the outskirts but not in the deep downtown. Just a nice normal place. Why the hell don’t you live here? Its[sic] across the park? Perhaps if you didn’t have a hangover you could realize that.

Yeah! If only I didn’t have this hangover I could realize all sorts of things.

The bus has now arrived at Corperate[sic] Street where every snooty business man works!

Come on, surely some snooty business men work on Corporate Boulevard. And finally:

>give french fries to dog

(Your score has decreased by 1)
The dog pre=”dog “>is amazed at the tasty greasy fries. He chews and eats them as they are the highest respected french fries in the land. He is far to engrossed in his feast as the grease sinks into the dog’s system. At the peak of the dog’s happiness, the grease causes a doggy heart attack. The dog falls over and dies. You killed a dog! You and your retched clothing.


Reviewed by Victor Gijsbers

Let us read the opening text of this game:

"You have a horrid hangover and no asprin in the apartment. This is your bedroom. Your ill-loking bed takes up most of the space. You have a closet and a bath robe on the floor. you should really take your robe and put it on. Its a good place to store things. To the east is your bathroom and to your west is the rest of your apartment.

Also here is your bathrobe."

At this point, Red conine, you will have lost at least half of your readers, before they even typed in a command. I have highlighted only the most glaring errors, and they are enough to show that (a) this game has not been proofread or tested, and (b) you have been utterly careless. If you don't care enough about your game to take out simple spelling errors like "asprin" for "aspirin", "loking" for "looking", "its" for "it's", and so on, then why should we care about your game?

You're making a text game. In a text game, the text is important. You should spend some time polishing it. Even if you are really bad at grammar and spelling, pasting the text into a word processor and letting it spell check it would have solved three of the five highlighted errors.

I actually did play a few moves, but it was hard to enjoy a game with prose like this. What also didn't help was:

•The extreme hinting: "You should pick up your bathrobe." "You should look at your toothbrush."
•The bad parser. Why can't I refer to the two-dollar bill with the word "bill"?
•Abusing the player as an attempt at humour. If the protagonist lives in an incredibly dirty place, that is fine. Tell me about it. Describe it. But don't say things to me like: "I suppose because you have your toothbrush here on your sink and a... my god thats a toilet! I couldn’t tell. You might want to look at your sink. Your proud of this?" and "I’m pitty you for the sole fact that you actually sleep there." Because when I take on the role of the protagonist in your story, I'm not doing so in order to be abused by you. Abused by an NPC? Ok. Abused by the author? No.

•Bad implementation. I cannot even examine the toilet you have just told me about.

So I quit after a few moves.

I am guessing that Red conine entered the competition with completely wrong expectations about what constitutes a good/acceptable entry. I am also guessing he or she is quite young. So, don't get too discouraged by the inevitable storm of negative reviews, and try to form more realistic expectations next time.


Reviewed by Renee Choba

I'm going to be as nice about this as I can. This game is really not good. It's not good for many reasons.

The myriad of spelling, grammar, and capitalization errors sure don't help. There's your instead of you're, a women on my couch, no one listening to my rabblings, a character that may be Liam or Liel (depending on which part of the room description you believe), and people wearing suites.

If you can ignore all that, there's still some major issues with things not really working well in the game. Like putting on your robe only to read that it's still on the floor, or finding that nothing's for sale in any of the stores, or discovering some money only to find it cannot be called money, or dollar, or bill, but only two dollar bill, which is not fun to repeatedly type.

And, finally, unforgivably, the walkthrough doesn't work. For example, it tells me to put things in my robe, but then I find they are all too big. (What kind of giant toothbrush am I using?) There's also a puzzle in which I must give my mail to a secretary in order to get a form. I give the mail (I can't give the mail to the secretary, but I can give the secretary the mail), I get points for this, but I sure don't get a form. And then I'm sunk.

This game is broken. Beyond repair.

(And, btw, am I some really progressive male that I am changing my name after getting married? And also, where is this bank that sends me a letter the very morning after I say my drunken wedding vows? That's some good customer service.)
 


Reviewed by Conrad Cook

Alright. This is a terrible game. It’s written in Adrift 3.9, which is free of charge, and given the quality of the games it produces it costs too much.

_Hangover_ is almost as bad as my own game, _LAIR of the CyberCow_, which was also written in Adrift 3.9.

_Hangover_ is badly programmed, it’s badly spelled, it’s insulting, and it falls apart as a game.

Even so, I really enjoyed it.
I don’t think anyone else will. In fact, I don’t think anyone else *can* — about two-thirds of the way through the game, I *think* it becomes unwinnable. But, as a consequence of my CyberCow experience, I know something about Adrift, and I hacked the file to make it playable.

I had gotten to the part where I was in the Bank of America, trying to convince a platypus to give me the forms so I could file a name-change I didn’t need on my debit card, and, well, I wanted to see how the story turned out.

Although I would gladly lay the game’s unsolvability at the feet of Campbell Wild, who has continued to inflict Adrift 3.9 on the community despite its hideous bugginess, honestly I think the programming problems in this game are the author’s fault. I mean, programming errors are always the author’s *responsibility* — but in this case, it was due to inattention on the author’s part, and failure to beta-test, rather than Adrift 3.9’s problems.

The author makes a number of coding errors. In your apartment, your bedroom and your living room are both west of each other. Objects are described in the room description, with a suggestion that you pick them up, and then after you pick them up they’re still described in the room description. There are unsolvable puzzles (the bit with the pigeons). It can very easily be rendered unwinnable. Sometimes you have to type commands in very precisely.

–But this last one starts to shade over into Campbell Wild’s domain, and the terrible parser he created. Looking over the game file, I can see that Red Conine, the author, put a great deal of effort into matching many different framings of the same command.

Meantime, the spelling is bad, the grammar’s often faulty, and the author frequently falls into cliches and then flails around while trying to get out of them. For example, “seems to be” is used even when not appropriate. Red writes, “The door you just walked through seems to be a false wall and it was one.”

None of that bothered me — I’m into Shakespeare, which is a good way to overcome any ideas of spelling — and instead my ears tuned into certain turns of phrase, such as “hard sleeper” (for “sound sleeper”). In short, in every way the story is the inverse case of _Eruption_: it has very poor production quality, but the author is really communicating something.

The story follows an all-out loser in his journey to a kind of redemption. It’s a journey that he bumbles through, largely despite his best efforts, while he runs a self-loathing internal dialogue in his mind.

This game will do terribly badly in the Comp, and honestly it deserves to — Comp games are held to the highest possible standards, which is what we all want — but nevertheless I thought it was fun and I enjoyed the author’s dynamic storytelling.
 


Reviewed by Ben Dixon (Another Mr Lizard)

There is a movie of this name. I have not seen it. Review below.

Your headache becomes worse as you look at the white tile of the, well, its supposed a bathroom. I suppose because you have your toothbrush here on your sink and a… my god thats a toilet! I couldn’t tell. You might want to look at your sink. Your proud of this? To the west is Your Bedroom.

At last, a bad game. I was starting to worry.

We’ve all woken up in an ill-loking bed with a horrid hangover, no asprin and a strange women sleeping on the couch, so really this is a game for everybody. The Hangover is a classic example of a competition game wherein an author allows his imagination to outrun his competence. It makes virtually every mistake you would expect such a game to make, and a few you wouldn’t. It would therefore be mean to criticise it, so I shall let it speak for itself.

>KICK WOMEN

Women avoids your feeble attempts.

Could this be the best unintentional response of the year?

>X CHAIR

A green plastic chair. One of three. This would be the 21st century my friend, not the 80s.

Because people have three chairs now. In the eighties we had four, but one of them broke in 1991. Hmm, what else?

>ASK CLERK ABOUT ASPRIN

All pain relievers are five dollars. If you do not have pain relievers please move on.

I’m going to have to stop now, because what I really want to do is reproduce every single daft response and this would become the longest and least informative review ever. If you want to see the every concieveble mangling of IF conventions, this is the place to look. It’s the sort of car crash IF that you just have to keep watching. Unfortunately you can’t because what passes for a walkthrough ceases to work at the point where you have to take forms between two offices even though the forms don’t actually appear to exist as objects in the game.

The walkthrough ends like this:

The platypus married you and Zoey Ferdinand (the women) last night while both of you were drunk. The game is over. You Win.

I would never suggest an author shouldn’t write more IF, but for god’s sake Mr Conine, (if that is your real name and you haven’t just misspelled Rod Canine) don’t write any more IF until you have learned some simple lessons. Here are just a few.

MOTIVATE your characters. There should be a clear in-story reason for everything the player-character is required to do. Saying “you should probably get the bum off the bench” shows you are aware that this information needs to be transmitted to the player, but if the player does not have adequate motivation they may ignore such helpful advice.

SPELLCHECK. If you don’t know how to spell a word, look it up, or use a spellchecker. Spellcheckers are not infallible, they will not pick up mistakes like the substitution of “women” for “woman”, for instance.

READ YOUR WRITING BACK. This will help you avoid making simple mistakes like calling a character Liel in one sentence and Liam in the next.

You should also try TESTING. Get some people- people you trust or strangers you met on the internet – to play the game before you release it. Listen to their feedback.

But most importantly DO NOT LET THE HAMMERING THIS GAME IS LIKELY TO RECEIVE DAMPEN YOUR ENTHUSIASM. YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE STARS.

Oh, on the plus side I did learn a few things from this game. Peyton Westlake, for instance, is of course the real name of famous superhero Darkman. Also the cultural significance of the two dollar bill. Well OK, I learned those things from Wikipedia.

Rating: Grim
 


Reviewed by Michael Martin

In a way it's kind of refreshing that I managed to get 2/3 of the way through the comp before finding a game this bad. I'm sure some of it is ADRIFT 3.9's fault - in particular, a number of actions the walkthrough suggests only work when phrased just so thanks to ADRIFT's horrible non-parser - but I'm actually inclined to give it a pass given the various other issues:

In a crowning glory of world modeling not seen since Detective, objects are listed in the room description with 'you'd better take this' and are of course still there and still something you'd better take even after you've taken and used it.
In fact, every object basically does this. "A meter maid is here. You should ask her about quantum chromodynamics."
Well, except that example is funnier than anything in the game.
Also, better spelled and punctuated.
The author is apparently unaware that "women" has a different spelling when used in the singular.
There is a filing cabinet, with a plot critical item inside it. OPEN FILING CABINET however pushes it aside revealing a secret passage. The only way to actually, like, open it is to use the command OPEN CABINET FILE, a phrasing that appears nowhere in the game and is only casually mentioned in the walkthrough.
At one point you are locked in a room with an NPC you must give something for a plot-critical item as well the keys to leave the room. However, from this point on, giving anybody anything simply gives the reply "You can't give that here!" which means the game is now unwinnable.
But you aren't locked in the room; you can just walk straight through the wall because the author never bothered to implement locked doors.
But it's still unwinnable because the final winning move is to give somebody something, and you can't give that here.
I'm pretty sure I spent more time writing this review then the author spent writing the game in the first place. Learn to use your tools, dude. This includes the English language. Normally I'd suggest writing in something like I7 instead of ADRIFT, too, since it is a superior free tool that runs more broadly, but I'm not convinced that the author can write coherently enough for the I7 compiler to accept his text.

Then again, maybe "capable of writing sentences acceptable to the I7 assertion parser" is a good minimum bar to clear for your writing before you submit something to hundreds of hostile critics, hm?


Reviewed by Yoon Ha Lee

The Hangover
Red conine (? I get another name from the help)

Clock in: 11:50 p.m.

The Hangover is the story of you. You awake in your apartment with an unknown women and your bank informing you that you changed your name last night. The goal? Get the approval form in triplicate to get the name on your debit card changed!

What. I mean, what. "[A]n unknown women." If you cannot be bothered to triple-check your *blurb*...this does not bode well. Still, I might as well see if I have something that can run it, and see if it's as bad as it sounds.

Yup, I had low expectations and they were entirely met. Check out this first paragraph:
You have a horrid hangover and no asprin in the apartment. This is your bedroom. Your ill-loking bed takes up most of the space. You have a closet and a bath robe on the floor. you should really take your robe and put it on. Its a good place to store things. To the east is your bathroom and to your west is the rest of your apartment.

If the author cannot be bothered to run the first damn room description by someone with some grasp of the written English language...ai.

My goal has now shifted to squeezing out whatever entertainment I can out of this thing.

> x toothbrush
A red toothbrush. Something is written on the back. Perhaps you can read the writing. You could also put this in your bathrobe.

> read toothbrush
119-228-337-446

> put toothbrush in bathrobe
You are not holding your toothbrush.

> get toothbrush
You take your toothbrush from the sink.

> put toothbrush in bathrobe
Your toothbrush is too big to fit inside your bathrobe.

It won't fit inside a sleeve or something? Really?

You living room wich also is your kitchen and dining room and just about everything else besides a bathroom. You have a kicthen counter and a fridge. There seems to be a table with three chairs. You have a TV and a couch as well... and a women is sleeping on the couch. How the hell did someone like you pull that off? She must have been drunk and by your headache so were you. To the north is the exit. To the east is Your Bedroom.

The women is here.

OMFG the author realio trulio does not know that the singular spelling is "woman." I wish I could say this were an atypical example of a room description, but no, they're all bad. This is execrable, I don't care about the PC, and the bad writing alone is giving me fits. What's even sadder is that I have not been playing comp games for very long and yet I already look at this game and think, Oh, it's one of *those* games.

Anyway, I see no need to stick around.

Clock out: 12:06 a.m.

It's not even as if I think this would become a better game if all the prose had been tidied up. The premise sounds dreadful. But it's a matter of principle.
 


Reviewed by Denis Klotz

I know, it's not nice to make fun of the grammatically challenged, but descriptions of "ill-loking" beds, fear of apostrophes and sentences like "I'm pitty you for the sole fact that you actually sleep there", not to speak of the author's misuse of the word "women" - you know, the sort of stuff a little spellchecking and editing could have avoided - don't leave me with much of a choice.

At least there's no hidden gem behind the terrible writing, instead, it's the sort of illogical mess you'd expect, full of exactly the same implementation problems every second comp game has had since the beginning of the comp. I'll never understand why someone would want to submit something like this, I think - there's a large amount of reviews online that should teach anyone willing to listen exactly what not to do and still we get pieces like this wasting our time.
 


Reviewed by George Penrose

This game is riddled with so many spelling errors, I begin to wonder if the author is a non-native speaker, or maybe just dyslexic. There is a women (sic) sleeping on my couch? No matter. If the game is worthwhile, I can ignore the spelling errors.

Yet the spelling errors are only the beginning. The game world is poorly simulated. The NPCs are flat and unresponsive. The map connections are broken– I found I could move eternally west from my bedroom to the living room and back to my bedroom again. Most of the objects mentioned in the game world have not been implemented, and obvious commands like “buy”, while in a well stocked pharmacy, fail to be recognized.

I turn to the walkthrough. I earlier tried to attract the bum’s attention by waking him, talking to him, taking his hat, even hitting him and attempting to kill him. But no, the correct verb was “kick bum”. Guess-the-verb puzzles are so lame.
 


Reviewed by Jenni Polodna (Pissy Little Sausages)

I knew it was only a matter of time before my bank opened a branch in my apartment. That would have been really convenient like five years ago, before I started doing all my banking online.

Also, I really want a t-shirt now with a little cartoon Jesus holding a Bible and speech-ballooning “This is the story of me!” Oh, wait, maybe I mean a cartoon whale and a copy of Moby Dick?

Also also, what the hell is a conine? Oh, it’s a poisonous alkaloid occuring in hemlock, according to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, which did not apparently give two shits about readability for the layman. “Whilst the benzoyl derivative is oxidized by potassium permanganate to benzoyl-a-aminovaleric acid” my Aunt Fanny.

Mostly Spoiler-Free Upshot: Yeeeeah. This game is not very good, and it’s not even not very good in new and interesting ways. It’s your garden-variety badly-written typo-laden untested underimplemented poorly-thought-out terrible horrible not-very-good game. I can’t even get excited about being mean to it. My hope is that the author is simply too young to have developed a taste level, and will eventually get better.

[spoilers begin here]


Oh, man, this thing is ADRIFT 3.9, which means it’s likely to give me lip. I wonder if the intro was cut off or if there just isn’t one?

No fewer than three typos in the first room’s description. Good sign!

Your bath robe. You actually wear this? Why, this is so wretched George Carlin would faint.

…my God that’s a toilet! I couldn’t tell. You might want to look at your sink. Your proud of this?
Well, great, not only am I hung over, but my life is being narrated by my mother. Today is gonna suck.

Huh, it wouldn’t let me take my toothbrush until I’d looked at my sink.

> brush teeth
What you typed doesn’t work.
And neither do you, you lazy bum. Get a job already. Maybe if you were a doctor like your brother you’d be too busy saving lives to go out and get drunk every night. You want to end up like Uncle Roger?

> use toothbrush
I don’t understand what you want me to do with your toothbrush.
But I’m sure it’s disgusting. You are sick.

Okay, fine, I won’t brush my teeth. Are you happy, Ma? Are you enjoying not letting me brush my teeth? I’ll try not to blame you when they rot through and fall out of my head, is that what you want? Is that what you want for your son, Ma?

You have a TV and a couch as well… and a women is sleeping on the couch. How the hell did someone like you pull that off?
Clearly I’m not that much of a stud, though, or she’d be sleeping in my bed.

> x woman
Nothing special.
She must’ve been cuter when I was drunk.

> x women
The mysterious women on your couch. She seems to be in a very deep slumber.
What do we think, audience? Is it conjoined twins or multiple personality disorder?

How do I wake this women up? I don’t have many options in this little clicky menu deal… hmm, despite being in a deep slumber, she manages to avoid my feeble attempts to hit her. Maybe I should give her something?

> shake women
You shake, but nothing happens.
> touch women
You can’t touch that.
> take women
I don’t think The the girl would appreciate being handled.
> x girl
You cannot see Secretary from here.
Yeah, I’m starting to think maybe this game isn’t going to be very good.

Okay, screw the women on my couch. I’m going to leave her alone with my valuables and go outside for no reason.

I’m not sure banks actually keep a record of whether or not you’ve changed your name with the government. Also, where do you get your name legally changed during prime being-very-drunk hours, the all-night government office and donuts?

Hey, you said the bus stop was to the east, but it was really to the west! Are you lying to me?

This is the bus stop. This is the real slum. There are more posters all over the bench, the sidewalk is wet and slimey, and there seems to be a bench. The sun continues to make your headache worse. To the east is Fredrick Avenue. To the west is Tennant Street. There is a bum on the bench. You should really get him off the bench. The bum is here.
I typed out this entire paragraph just to give you a sense of how bad the writing in this game is. Also, there is a paragraph here. The writing in this game is terrible. There is some writing.

Yeeeeeah. I’m just gonna read the walkthrough. Wow, the walkthrough’s sort of entertaining, actually. “DO NOT FEED THE DOG THE FRENCH FRIES! They will kill the dog!”

Ask platypus about approval note. He will tell he will not give you the approval form in triplicate because it wouldn’t be any fun.

You will find yourself in a utility tunnel. Nothing is here. Go north. Go noth again.
Now your in a pyscho hospital room and the door was a false wall (one-way false wall).

He also tells you what happened last night. The platypus married you and Zoey Ferdinand (the women) last night while both of you were drunk. The game is over. You Win.
I Win indeed.


Reviewed by Jake Wildstrom

No opening text at all, just a banner. C'mon, HHGttG had the same start-situation, and its opening was a nice, condensed gem. Surely you can do as well. Then again, maybe the lack of opening text is a blessing in disguise, since when text does emerge, it's ghastly. There were three obvious writing errors in the first room description, and even the bits that weren't conspicuously incorrect were stylistically suspect. Room descriptions don't change to reflect updates in world-state. All of this is information that I, and I daresay any competent beta-tester, would report within 2 minutes of starting the game. I can only conclude this game had no competent beta-testers. There are countless other stylistic, writing, and technical errors which emerge when I take more than 2 moves, but they're hardly worth going into, as they are, for the most part, depressingly illiterate rather than hilariously incomprehensible. It's worth mentioning, however, how many of the exits are mislabeled and misdirected, since that's a flaw which not only affects prose enjoyment but also ability to play the game.

As for the game itself: it's full of the kind of things inexperienced and juvenile authors put in their games that experienced authors tend to counsel against. The two most conspicuous: extradiagetic telegraphing of actions (pretty much every action the author expects you to do), and constant belittling of the protagonist (which wasn't funny when Slacker X did it, and hasn't become funnier in the interim; there's a way to write a hapless fuckup protagonist that works, but it requires a defter touch than this). Add that to unimplemented actions (the telegraphed action to buy fries does not in fact work) and a guess-the-verb so bizarre it qualifies as a bug (when "wait" is the right action, "z" is not accepted), and I can't help but wonder what induced the author to enter this game in the comp. It's not even finished (and why, oh why, did I play all the way through?).


Reviewed by Michael Neal Tenuis

The spoiler-free summary is: It’s a severely under-implemented game with lots of spelling errors.

(WARNING! Spoilers follow!)

The Hangover is the story of you. You awake in your apartment with an unknown women and your bank informing you that you changed your name last night. The goal? Get the approval form in triplicate to get the name on your debit card changed!

If you think that the mistake in the blurb does not bode well for the rest of the game… you’re right. There are so many spelling and grammar mistakes that it’s obvious that nobody beta-tested this. Here’s a sample:

Pharmacy
The bright white room acts like the sun and amplifies your headache. There is a clerk named Steve and random shoppers. You are to make it to the counter but any further into the store would be too much for you’re hangover. There seems to be an asortment of cigerettes behind the counter and some asprin and… bird seeds? Thats odd. The only wat out is north back to Tennant Street.

The problems run deeper, though (and I don’t mean the plausibility of a pharmacy offering “cigerettes”). The implementation can only be called shoddy:

In several places, the game gives wrong exit descriptions. Also, the bedroom is both east and west from the living room.
Almost none of the items mentioned in room descriptions can be examined.
The few things that can be interacted with are painted-on props which stay in the room descriptions even after you’ve taken them:
>x closet
This closet is so stuffed that if a single thing was taken out, it could very well all fallout and risk your very own death. The only thing that seems to be removable is a two dollar bill. Your closet is open. Inside your closet is a two dollar bill.

>take bill
Take what?

>take dollar
Take what?

>take dollars
Take what?

>take two
Take what?

>take two dollar bill
You take the two dollar bill from your closet.

>x closet
This closet is so stuffed that if a single thing was taken out, it could very well all fallout and risk your very own death. The only thing that seems to be removable is a two dollar bill. Your closet is open.

Even in the sole instance where the room description actually changes, it’s exactly wrong again:
Approval Form Office
This “office” is really just a large cellar with some cubicles which have metal doors… very odd. The platypus is no where to be seen.

Platypus is here.

The snippet with the dollar bill above also illustrates that sensible synonyms are missing.
The following excerpt is telling, too:
Secretary is here.

>ask secretary about debit card
Okay, If you want the “Card Name Replacemnt Form” I’ll need your mail from us. Give me your mail.

>give mail to her
Secretary doesn’t seem interested in your mail.

>give secretary the mail
Give what?

>tell secretary about mail
I don’t understand what you want me to do with your mail.

>i
You are wearing your bathrobe, and you are carrying your toothbrush, your mail and some french fries.

>x mail
There seems to be a single letter. The letter seems very urgent. You should read your mail and take it with you.

>give secretary the letter
Give what?

>ask secretary about letter
You recieved a letter about your card in your mail. If you didn’t bring your mail, I can’t give you the form.

>give secretary your mail
(Your score has increased by 1)
You have given the secretary your letter. She gives a form and tells you to procede to the Form Process Office. Her finger points to the east.

I grant that I could have thought earlier of the right wording, given that the inventory lists “your mail”. But this behaviour is still inacceptable.

I gave up when the following disambiguation dilemma occurred:

>give approval form to platypus
Please be more clear, what do you want to give? Card name replacement approval form or card name replacement approval form?

>give approval forms to platypus
Give what?

>give card name replacement approval form to platypus
Please be more clear, what do you want to give? Card name replacement approval form or card name replacement approval form?

>card name replacement approval form
What you typed doesn’t work.

The guide to the game does not provide an explicit command-by-command walkthrough, so I was stuck here, but it seems that this is right before the very end, so I didn’t miss much.

What I liked:

The story had the potential to be a zany romp through the farcical world of large corporations, and it could have been hilarious to investigate what happened the night before.
There were some endearingly bizarre situations, e. g.:
>give fries to dog
(Your score has decreased by 1)
The dog is amazed at the tasty greasy fries. He chews and eats them as they are the highest respected french fries in the land. He is far to engrossed in his feast as the grease sinks into the dog’s system. At the peak of the dog’s happiness, the grease causes a doggy heart attack. The dog falls over and dies. You killed a dog! You and your retched clothing.

My favourite line (I’m not being sarcastic, I really liked it):
Even a bench to sit down and relax is here. Even someone like you in terrible clothing could relax.

I don’t want to sound condescending, since I haven’t yet finished writing an IF game of my own, but the author really has to try harder. An advice: when you think the game is complete, wait for a day or two, then take a fresh look at it and play-test it from the beginning to the end. After that, ask for beta testers on the rec.arts.int-fiction/rec.games.int-fiction newsgroups, on the Adrift forum, and on http://if.game-testing.org. Even the most casual testing would have revealed the problems I wrote about.

A transcript of my playing session is available upon request, just drop me an e-mail at michaelNOSPAMnealNOSPAMtenuisATgmail.com. (Replace the NOSPAM with “.” and, obviously, the AT with the @ sign).

– Michael

P. S.:

Bus Stop
This is the bus stop. This is the real slum. There are more posters all over the bench, the sidewalk is wet and slimey, and there seems to be a bench. The sun continues to make your headache worse. To the east is Fredrick Avenue. To the west is Tennant Street. There is a bum on the bench. You should really get him off the bench.

The bum is here.

>x bum
The bum is wearing an asortment of jackets and very dirty jeans. He seems to have his hat over his eyes and is sleeping. He also smells horrid.

After trying to wake him, to talk to him et cetera, I guessed that the author intended violence to be the answer to this one:

>push bum
You push, but nothing happens.

>pull bum
You pull, but nothing happens.

>hit bum
Bum avoids your feeble attempts.

In his sleep — amazing! I think it’s Adrift’s default response. Now I looked at the walkthrough for the correct solution:

>kick bum
(Your score has increased by 1)
You have the kicked the bum right off the bench! He is in a terrible mood but simply walks over to Fredrick Avenue. The bus has arrived! You should get on the bus. Go north to get on the bus.

Why can’t I just wake the bum? Why do I have to kick him? Is this something that the player shall deem acceptable, or is it an artistic device meant to illustrate that the story’s protagonist is a violent brute? Also, what is the causal connection between getting the bum off the bench and the arrival of the bus?


Reviewed by Sam Kabo Ashwell

This game sets a new standard for ill-considered openings by lacking any introductory text apart from the title. I don't mean that you have to keypress to get to the first screen of text. I mean that the first screen of text consists solely of the title, author and date. You have to type LOOK to get a room description. That description contains an elementary spelling error and two grammatical errors. Honestly, I should give this game a 2 and quit immediately, because there is no way that this is going to improve however much time I waste on it. My first two moves confirm this; an item mentioned in the room description remains in the room description after I've picked it up. 2 is beginning to look generous.

If this game was really clever, it would improve as you tended your tavern flu, something akin to an IF Upgrade Complete. Clear your head by throwing up: all the spelling errors fix themselves. Make some coffee: be rewarded with a sympathetic, individual protagonist. Shit, shower, shave: room descriptions work properly, and the NPC develops layer upon layer of characterisation. Consume something salty and fried: receive a download link to a TADS port of the game.

Truly, though, I cannot sustain myself on an imagined game. Fourteen moves is all I can take before I grind my teeth down to bloody stumps.


Reviewed by Elizabeth (runnerchild)

Third game was The Hangover, by Red Conine. Review behind the cut, with spoilers. I can't help saying outside the cut, though - unless you're judging the competition like me, I don't recommend this game.

The first thing I noticed about this game was the spelling and grammar. Both suggested that a) the author does not speak English fluently, b) the author has never heard of proofreading, c) the author was on his/her way to quite the hangover his/herself while writing, or d) some combination of the above. An excerpt:

> w
You move west.
Your Living Room
You living room wich also is your kitchen and dining room and just about everything else besides a bathroom. You have a kicthen counter and a fridge. There seems to be a table with three chairs. You have a TV and a couch as well... and a women is sleeping on the couch. How the hell did someone like you pull that off? She must have been drunk and by your headache so were you. To the north is the exit. To the east is Your Bedroom.

The women is here.

> x fridge
You see no such thing.

> x table
You see no such thing.

> x chair
A green plastic chair. One of three. This would be the 21st century my friend, not the 80s.

> get chair
You can’t take the chair!

> x couch
You see no such thing.

Most objects mentioned in the poorly-written descriptions were, as you can see, not actually implemented. Of those that were, many could not be manipulated in any way. The map was broken - the description text stated that, for example, an empty apartment was to the east, but when I walked east, I found myself at a bus stop instead. Before giving up entirely, I resorted to the walkthrough, only to discover that it, too, was poorly written and didn't give specific commands. I could not figure out how to make "Deby" the cashier at the burger joint take my two-dollar bill (which could not be called "bill" or "dollar" or "two dollar", but only "two dollar bill") and called it quits. From the walkthrough, I don't think I missed too much fun:

After the secretary has taken your mail, she will give you the replacement form.
Go east to the process office and ask walter about debit card.
Walter will not accept the replacement form. You need the approval form for the replacement form in triplicate. He gives an approval note for the secretary.
Go west back to the lobby and give secretary approval note. She will tell you to go down the stairs to the approval office. Go west to go to the approval office.
There you will meet the odd Director of Form Request. He, no, it is a platypus.
Ask platypus about approval note. He will tell he will not give you the approval form in triplicate because it would't be any fun. You will have to track down three approval forms.

If the author of this game should ever chance to read this post, my advice is this: get a thoughtful, patient beta-tester and proofreader for your next game. Draw diagrams for yourself. Play the game through yourself. Start smaller: a two-room, one-puzzle game with no bugs or errors is more enjoyable to play than a sprawling game riddled with frustrations.

My advice for the rest of you: play a different game.


Reviewed by Shane Fitzgerald-Gale

Oooooooh! <cringe, great sucking in of breath>

My god, the writing in this leaves a lot to be desired. Is he/she/it learning english i wonder? If so, you’re doing very well deary. <smile sweetly> If not, oooooooooooooh! <more sucking in of breath>

I wonder why people write games like this. I mean, the time it must take just to get a game written in the first place, then the beta-testing(if there is any) and more reviewing etc… The reason i mention it is that one gets the impression(oh! i’ve gone all posh. What’s that about then?) that writing a game, any game, would be the result of a deep passion or a great unquenchable desire to produce something that could at least be described as a good attempt even if it did fall a little short of expectations. But when playing games like this one, i get the impression that it was just rushed out in as short a time as possible. No polish, not even the basics in fact, such as spell checking and making sure exits go where they say they should(which is another thing this one suffers from).

Also, and this is quite a big moan, i had to install an earlier version of Adrift since the game is version 3.9 and my Adrift 4.0 told me i’d have to convert it, at which point it locked up and that was the end of that. Doesn’t bode well. doesn’t bode well at all.

Anyway, follow me if you like a good moan.


Is it really too much to expect things to be implemented? Ya know, things we’re implicitly told are in the room. Here’s a prime example.

>west
You move west.
Your Living Room You living room wich also is your kitchen and dining room and just about everything else besides a bathroom. You have a kicthen counter and a fridge. There seems to be a table with three chairs. You have a TV and a couch as well… and a women is sleeping on the couch. How the hell did someone like you pull that off? She must have been drunk and by your headache so were you. To the north is the exit. To the east is Your Bedroom. The women is here.

>x counter
Nothing special.

>x fridge
Nothing special.

>x table
Nothing special.

>x chairs
Nothing special.

>x tv
Nothing special.

>x couch
Nothing special.

I mean, come on young’un, you said this stuff was in the room. I’m looking right at it when i enter, and yet… oh i dunno. There was a point i too thought i might just play the games that listed beta-testers, but i honestly thought it wouldn’t be fair to refuse to play a game on the basis that it didn’t list the little beta-creatures, but now… well i gotta tell ya, i’m seriously thinking about defecting to the other side girls and boys, seriously thinking about it now.

<sigh, shake head sadly>

Oh, since i think of it, i’m going to be trying something new and revolutionary. Yep! revolutionary. As of the next review, i’m going to alternate between masculine and feminine pronouns when referring to the PC. I know! It IS so modern man of me. I’m proud of me for even considering that one. I bet it turns out to be the linchpin of my life. Yeah, that’s what it’ll be, the linchpin.

What’s a linchpin?

So, anyway we go wandering off trying to locate the three forms necessary to get our name changed on our card and get into oodles of hilarious scrapes and wonderous adventures(huh?! yes we dooooooooo! we doooOOOOOOOOO!!). Actually, no we don’t. It’s pretty much just run of the mill stuff. And that’s a shame really, since even if this one was whipped out in a hurry(and i don’t know that for sure, but hey, i’m nice really so let’s say it was), it must still have taken time to put together. So why not at least use that elusive spell checker. Would it really have slowed you down that much? I’m using one now in fact. Good en’ it?

Now, i’m not much of a one for the ol’ fist-i-mi-cuffs, except perhaps the passive-aggressive sort but this was mildly amusing(unintentionally so), nevertheless it <smirked> me in its own way.

>hit women
Women avoids your feeble attempts.

>kick women
Women avoids your feeble attempts.

>x women
The mysterious women on your couch. She seems to be in a very deep slumber

Strange. My very own little lady doesn’t sleep that deeply, and yet she sleeps deeper than death. Also, riddle-me-this. What’s the difference between attacking, hitting and kicking? Answer: lots(when it’s a bum on a bench).

The bum is here.

>attack bum
Bum avoids your feeble attempts.

>hit bum
Bum avoids your feeble attempts.

>kick bum
You have the kicked the bum right off the bench! He is in a terrible mood but simply walks over to Fredrick Avenue. The bus has arrived! You should get on the bus. Go north to get on the bus.

Little things again i know, but the devil’s in the detail, and it’s these little things that can make all the difference to a game. I mean, should it really have mattered that i attacked or hit instead of kicked? Shouldn’t any game worth it’s salt accept them all? Or at the very least give me a good reason as to WHY THE HELL NOT?

So, this one didn’t do it for me i’m afraid. But then, i don’t think that was down to me this time. In fact, i know damned well it wasn’t down to me this time(apologies to Yon Astounding Castle!). Won’t be playing this again. Kind of regret the time it took to get this far with it to be honest. I mean, think of all the other things i could have filled that time with. Er… erm… hmmmm… well there is that… no, no. OK. Probably didn’t miss much of life during my hangover period, but that’s not the point really is it?

Onto the next one it is then.
 


Reviewed by Christopher Huang

The author has an interesting style of expression, I think, though I did not always care for the humour. In addition, he has yet to master his tools. Spelling errors and grammatical errors are strewn about the place like leaves in Autumn, only without the pretty colours. There were a number of "do this next" messages, which, rather than coming across as subtle hinting, came across as heavy-handed directives from above. Some of the exits were mislabelled. There were things that did not work as advertised. In the end, the plague of problems proved too much for me, and I had to quit.

I gather that there's actually a bit of a story in this game, and it's a shame that the implementation and writing issues should obscure it to the point of unplayability. The idea of waking up after a night of carousing, to find a strange woman on one's couch as well as a notice of one's change of name, is a situation loaded with possibilities, but the way the thing was put together rather discouraged exploration.

As a breakfast, this would be a Spanish omelette, burned, with bits of eggshell embedded in it.
 


Reviewed by Mike Snyder

Preconceptions:
I’m starting out without a very positive impression of this one. The blurb’s first sentence is awkward and unnecessary. Waking up in your apartment has become an IF cliché. I awaken with “an unknown women” – an is singular but women is plural, so this is evidently a typo. Why would my bank be calling me about something that only happened last night, and how would they even know? Shouldn’t I be the one to initiate a call to my bank? And in what country is it standard practice for a man to change his name after getting married? Or was it changed for some other reason, and the strange woman in my apartment is just misleading me? Also, I don’t have Adrift 3.9 on this laptop, and I don’t see it on the Adrift downloads page. I guess I’ll try with Gargoyle first.

Review Summary:
Untested, unedited, and in many ways unplayable, The Hangover has some issues with unrecognized commands that are at best extreme guess-the-verb situations, and at worst game-killing flaws.

Played: 10/23/2009 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Score: 2 (Broken)
Transcript: here

By now, I’m guessing that every joke about The Hangover has been cracked and every flaw has been criticized in other reviews. Assuming the game isn’t bad intentionally, I suspect the author is very young and very inexperienced. Even the game’s core themes – before it all degenerates into absurdity – show a perplexing lack of understanding about the subject matter involved.

The writing is painful. It could be improved to just “bland” with some work, but as it stands, every apostrophe-less contraction, misspelled word (even the short ones), and formatting or punctuation problem stands out like Sinbad in a bikini.

It also allows players to proceed without vital inventory items, with no way back, and without any justification plot-wise. In my first play-through, upon getting stuck in a padded cell, I thought that was simply the game’s proverbial punch line. The walkthrough said otherwise, but no amount of creative command entry helped me figure out how to give or trade a specific item to a specific person. Of course, I was able to continue (even skipping over a later spot where the walkthrough said I would need that missing item), but I had another “give” problem at the end. I suppose the walkthrough explains the ending, but it would have been nice to see it in-game.

It’s put together with a sort of creative bravado, showing that the author had fun writing it. It’s broken, though, and implemented only at a very basic level where most scenery is absent, room exits sometimes contradict the room text, information is “painted-on” in the room description, and important facts are sometimes missing altogether. It would be easy to call this a “typical” first effort, but it’s well below even that. The Hangover is an unplayable mess.

I’m not one to encourage giving up, though. Advise to the author: Play more IF, read more articles and reviews about this and prior competitions, think like a player even as you’re writing, find testers, and don’t let the first draft be your only draft in your future efforts. You’ll find it far more satisfying when players are able to see and comment on the good points in your game, rather than labeling it a total dud.
 


Reviewed by Philip Armstrong


I’ve played some bad games in this competition so far but none of them were classically bad (though Invisible Man comes close). With The Hangover by Red Conine I finally got to play a traditional terrible comp game.

The Hangover is the kind of game Richard Bos complained about in his Eruption rant. It is full of spelling and grammar errors, room connections aren’t consistent (and rooms aren’t always in the direction the game describes them being), it’s badly implemented and many nouns have no descriptions, and the puzzles require much guessing of verbs.

But there is a certain charm to it. The writing is terrible, but in a very particular way that, if the game had been written by an author in control, would have been hilarious. The game doesn’t start with an intro or even a room description, just a command line. This, combined with the confusing way that the rooms are tied together, actually does a lot to create the feeling of waking up from a heavy night of drinking. I’m sure this effect was unintentional. Again, in the hands of a better author this would have been a neat trick.

The game does offer some accidental hilarity. Here are some choice bits:

> read mail

“Dear Sir, the 42nd Bank of America request that you come to our offices as you have failed to change your name on the card after you changed your own name. If you do not come to our offices and change the name on the card this said card will become useless.” You changed you name? What the hell did you do last night?

I would love if my bank sent me notifications like this, instead of the dry “your account is overdrawn” letter they normally send me.

Tennant Street

This is just a normal street. Not in the outskirts but not in the deep downtown. Just a nice normal place. Why the hell don’t you live here? Its[sic] across the park? Perhaps if you didn’t have a hangover you could realize that.

Yeah! If only I didn’t have this hangover I could realize all sorts of things.

The bus has now arrived at Corperate[sic] Street where every snooty business man works!

Come on, surely some snooty business men work on Corporate Boulevard. And finally:

>give french fries to dog

(Your score has decreased by 1)

The dog pre=”dog “>is amazed at the tasty greasy fries. He chews and eats them as they are the highest respected french fries in the land. He is far to engrossed in his feast as the grease sinks into the dog’s system. At the peak of the dog’s happiness, the grease causes a doggy heart attack. The dog falls over and dies. You killed a dog! You and your retched clothing.
 



Reviewed by George Shannon

Actually, I don’t think there’s anything I can say that isn’t already said by other people. This game does things to the English language that I’m pretty sure are illegal in at least five states.

One thing I just don’t get; you intentionally skipped any intro text. I tried different interpreters, sure that this was a file-reading problem, but it was just laziness. Why would you not provide some lead-in to your game?

Next time: Learn English. Alternatively, read your game out loud at every point during the coding process.
 



Reviewed by N. B. Horvath

For me, this was one of those so-bad-it's-good games. There are copious mistakes in both coding and writing, including some spectacularly bad spelling. Consider this excerpt:

>LOOK

You living room wich also is your kitchen and dining room and just about everything else besides a bathroom. You have a kicthen counter and a fridge. There seems to be a table with three chairs. You have a TV and a couch as well... and a women is sleeping on the couch. How the hell did someone like you pull that off? She must have been drunk and by your headache so were you. To the north is the exit. To the east is Your Bedroom. The women is here.

>X WOMEN

The mysterious women on your couch. She seems to be in a very deep slumber

>WAKE WOMEN

I don't understand what you want to do with Women.

In fact, the "women" does nothing but sleep. Evidently female characters aren't this author's strong suit.

After that scene, the player character picks up a strange letter from his bank, prompting him to head downtown and deal with some red tape. The author pays homage to Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, both explicitly (by directly quoting the "Beware of the leopard" gag) and implicitly (by having the player character carry out his quest while still wearing his bathrobe).

More writing problems: The second half of the game turns to lazy surrealism, although I liked the Director of Form Requests (an ill-mannered platypus). Last but not least, there are occasional, troublesome hints of misogyny and disrespect for the less fortunate.

Turning to the coding problems, I will name just a couple of the types that are present in this game. One problem is that exits often lie in a different direction from what's stated in the location descriptions. Another is that certain tasks are coded improperly, so that it's impossible to win the game.

With all that said, let me add that buried underneath all the terrible writing and programming, there are at least one or two good ideas in The Hangover. One of these is the running joke that the people and places the PC encounters are shabby, but still in better shape than the PC and his scuzzy bachelor apartment:

The store is lined with racks of clothing. [...] All this cheap terrible clothes. All of them better then your clothes. Serisouly, why don't you buy here?

A brown furry dog with no collar. His fur seems very ruffed up and hasn't been groomed in years. He also seems very hungery.Well, he's better groomed then you atleast.

I also liked certain little touches, like the way in which bright light accentuates the PC's hangover while dim light is a welcome relief.

All in all, though, the reality is that the author doesn't know what he (am I safe in assuming it's a he?) is doing with this game. Score 5.

 



Reviewed by Daniel Wilson

This is a good example of what interactive fiction should NOT be. First of all, it’s written in ADRIFT, which doesn’t seem to turn out well very often. I’ve never used it, but reading the Wikipedia article, it seems like it’s a shareware graphical interface for a non-graphical game. This can’t be good. The interpreter is a great deal less flexible than the other games I’ve played. For example, I have to refer to the “card name replacement approval form” by its full name. This game is riddled with typos easily found with a spell checker. There are far too many to mention. For one of the puzzles, “GIVE [thing] TO [person]” says “[Person] isn’t interested in [the thing],” but “GIVE [person] [thing]” does work. This is very, very bad. The author seems to lack the ability to give hints, going for the “You should [do something]” approach or nothing, leaving the player to guess wildly among the confusion of default messages. The map is mangled, saying things are east when they are really west, for example. The plot starts out vague, but quickly degenerates into stupid. Finally, halfway through the game, the game is broken. I looked at the walkthrough, and typed in exactly what it said, but it refused to let me pass. In short, this is almost a parody of the interactive fiction genre, representing the worst practices all put together. I can’t think of much I could change to make it worse.
 



Reviewed by Dan Shiovitz

This does have a few funny bits and a reasonable setup, but mostly it's recycled Douglas Adams jokes and terrible programming, to the point of the game being unwinnable. I assume the author is somebody young who will be writing more; a good next step for them would be to switch to TADS or I7 or something for their next game (which is not to say the other two ADRIFT games in this comp aren't pretty good, but there are all sorts of bugs in this game you simply can't create in other authoring systems).

 



Reviewed by Rob Menke

Technical: 1
Puzzles: 1
Story: 2

Minimalst introduction, not even a room description. Might be the interpreter, might be intentional.

Room has a description, so it was not for style. First spelling error encountered. Author cannot decide between “bath robe” and “bathrobe,” so both are used.

Please please tell me the spelling errors are intentional.

Wait one minute… Bathrobe. Toothbrush. This sounds familiar…

Examine toothbrush.

A red toothbrush. Something is written on the back. Perhaps you can read the writing. You could also put this in your bathrobe.

Put toothbrush in robe.

Your toothbrush is too big to fit inside your bathrobe.

And the winner of The Matt Barringer Memorial Award for Including the Location of a Movable Object in Its Description goes to…

OK, this has got to be a joke: The women is here. That has just sucked away any remnants of enthusiasm to finish this review. Yet I plod on…

This has got to be a tribute to Barringer, because we have the closed hyperspherical room geography.

I give up. Even when following the walkthru, I keep having items mysteriously disappear. Isn’t it time somebody did the decent thing by taking SCARE out to be shot?

Bad implementation, lame storyline, and all the puzzles are of the search-x-find-y type. This kind of game went out with disco and EST.
 



Reviewed by Marius Müller

If the author of The Hangover wanted me to feel what was like to play IF when I was terribly hung over, he succeeded. If he wanted to write a decent IF game, however, I'm afraid he failed.

It starts with the horrible spelling errors and the fact that they are constantly reappearing. Does the author really think "women" is the singular form and that aspirin is spelled "asprin?“ As many can attest, I've had my grapples with the English language myself, but you know what helps? Native speakers as beta-testers. There are cool people in the community who gladly help with this problem.

By the way, in case you're wondering, Mr. Author, beta-testers are the people who catch bugs in games. Like obvious actions that aren't implemented. (This is, as I understand, however also in part ADRIFT's fault). That includes checking if the game is winnable. If the walkthrough suggest I should give something to someone, and the parser response is that said person isn't interested, I'm stumped.

And yet, at other times the game tries to take you by the hand like a three-year old (Here is "item!" You should take "item" and read "item" and put it in your container. Thanks game, I've done this before.) or needlessly insults you. Now, if I want snarky comments about the state of my apartment I ask my parents; thanks again, game.

The bad thing is, even with some polish, this would still be a fairly generic and bland game. As it stands, it's not even that.
 



Reviewed by David Fletcher

This one is not just "An Interactive Fiction" but "An Interactive Fiction Computer Game". Good to have that made clear. I could easily have mistaken it for a lettuce or a hatstand.

Third game where I've woken up with a hangover. The amount of binge drinking going on in this year's competition is worrying.

Oh man:

Your Bedroom

You have a horrid hangover and no asprin in the apartment. This is your bedroom. Your ill-loking bed takes up most of the space. You have a closet and a bath robe on the floor. you should really take your robe and put it on. Its a good place to store things. To the east is your bathroom and to your west is the rest of your apartment. Also here is your bathrobe.

And don't miss the "women":

Your Living Room

You living room wich also is your kitchen and dining room and just about everything else besides a bathroom. You have a kicthen counter and a fridge. There seems to be a table with three chairs. You have a TV and a couch as well... and a women is sleeping on the couch. How the hell did someone like you pull that off? She must have been drunk and by your headache so were you. To the north is the exit. To the east is Your Bedroom. The women is here.

x woman
Nothing special.

x women
The mysterious women on your couch. She seems to be in a very deep slumber

wake women
I don't understand what you want to do with Women.

And:

give dollar bill to deby
Deby doesn't seem interested in the two dollar bill.

give deby dollar bill
Deby gives you the french fries and then goes back to ignoring you. The french fries are very greasy. Grats my friend, you should probably eat them before they get anything else greasy.

You get the idea. It gets worse though. You have to wait while on the bus. But "z" just says "Time passes..." - it only works if you type "wait"!


Walkthrough gets the directions wrong. And now fails to work at all.
 



Reviewed by Dark Star

The Hangover. Another poorly implemented Adrift game, but its failures go even beyond Adrift with grammatical mistakes, shallow characters, lack of implementation, and bad game design. It’s big and ambitious, but there are no hints that help guide the player through the game. It’s sprawling nature makes it unplayable.

There are a lot of problems here, so I’m just going to name a few I found before I quit the game. The first one that stood out was how poorly characters are implemented. Like the woman I find on my couch with no recollection of how she got there.

>examine women
The mysterious women on your couch. She seems to be in a deep slumber

>push women
You push, but nothing happens.

>hit women
Women avoids your feeble attempts.

And shouldn’t it be woman instead of women? The bum is handle just as poorly and the waitress wasn’t even implemented. I couldn’t talk to her because she wasn’t there!

Then there’s the sprawling game design, where the player feels lost having no idea what to do. Games like this frustrate me because I can spend a half hour or longer just trying to figure things out when I’d rather be seeing the story unfold. Clear direction is invaluable to a game.

I scored this game a 1. It's playable, but nothing but the bare bones are implemented. Nothing is clued, and I had all sorts of problems interacting with characters, it just feels like the author bit off more than he could chew. This one is broken.


Reviewed by  MathBrush

This game combines an unfortunately too common theme in IF (waking up in an apartment after drinking and/or romantic affairs) with another too common theme (office bureaucracy) and another (wacky weirdness), but somehow without fully committing to any of them.

The ADRIFT parser is really poor here. "Two dollar bill" is recognized, but not 'two' or 'bill' or so on.


There was a bug partway through that kept the walkthrough from working for me.


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