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The Home of Otter Interactive Fiction

PTGOOD 8*10^23 Reviews
Author: Sartre Malvolio
Date: 2005
ADRIFT 4.0


Reviewed by Baryon

This was probably a joke game, but I couldn't complete it. The implementation was poor. If I had to say one good thing about it, it would be that the opening line made me laugh - realising that Slan Xorax is the author.  


Reviewed by Nick Bronson

Plot: 0/10 - No concievable plot except for a blurb at the start about preventing Slan Xorax from terrorizing the IF community with terrible games.

Atmosphere: 0/10 - Locations are undescribed, there are no npcs that I could find. There is no atmosphere.

Writing: 1/10 - He spelt most words right. Other than that, prose seems to be a grade school level.

Game play: 0/10 - Unable to find any. Stuck on what appeared to be a guess-the-verb question very early on.

Characters: 0/10 - None other than an undescribed main character.

Puzzles: 0/10 - I hate guess-the-verb.

Overall: 1/10 - Why bother?

Theres something almost beautifully ironic about writing a bad game which is supposed to be about stopping people from making bad games. I really wish I could believe that this game is badly written on purpose, that the empty locations, direction bugs and early guess-the-verb puzzle that I wasted a good half-hour on before deciding this game had taken enough time, was written badly on purpose as an ironic joke.

At least then there would be some purpose to it. Even still, a joke like that belongs as an independant release, not in a competition where it takes valuable time away from games that actually have substance. This game is just bad. There is nothing else to it. Not to mention the whole Slan Xorax idea, which was lost on me, sounds like an attempt at a juvenile in-joke plot. I can only guess that Slan is an author of games that Sartre, at least, thinks are bad and this is some sort of poor homage to him.

As mentioned in the capsule, the locations were undescribed. In one case, where exits actually were described, they were described wrong (the lab was said to be south-east, it was actually west), and I ran into a wall quite fast. That might be in some parts related to me poor problem solving ability, but nothing about this game gave me any desire to try harder, so I guess it doesn’t matter in the end.
This is the kind of game I wish i’d bought, so I could self-righteously demand my money back.

If you’re not judging, don't play it. There are so many good games out there


Reviewed by Matt Carey

Blurb: In this uncut version that YOU DID NOT SEE IN THEATRES, you'll laugh your arse off at Xorax's evil stupidity, and get to play the role of his murderer. 

The most meanspirited IF parody to date! 

DOWN WITH PTBAD!

It’d be funny if as a result of the Comp, this guy and the Sisyphus guy became, like, pen pals. 1


Reviewed by James Hall

A "protest game" against the appalling PTBAD series, which I suspect was written by the same author. It's just as awful. 

1/10 


Reviewed by JDC

I couldn't find a lab se from the stairs (presumably a bug). The cytometer exploded me. It didn't seem worth the effort to search more.


Reviewed by Admiral Jota

Hey, a game apparently designed to suck. And it succeeds! Tales of the Traveling Swordsman - 8 (9) Hey, another game that's not half bad! Actual hints would be nice. Decent NPCs. Good use of descriptions. Excellent use of scoring, even of the author thinks it's not really a score. Ending feels slightly cliched (which is odd, since I didn't feel that way about the other game with a similar ending).


Reviewed by Jimmy Maher 

If you've been following the Comp for the last couple of years, you know what this is.  In case you haven't, I will just inform you that it is the latest in a series of deliberately bad fragments that are entered with the intention of placing not quite at the bottom, but just above.  It was mildly amusing the first time, but it's as far past its expiration date as Santoonie Corporation and Jacek now.  This bit did make me laugh, though, so this one isn't entirely useless:

You are reminded of a mold you once observed. You named it Jerry and allowed it to live in a petri dish in your refridgerator. You and Jerry parted ways when he betrayed you and allowed his spores to grown on your lunch.

Needless to say, the game, such as there is of it, is buggy and unwinnable.  My most interesting observation to offer is another homage to ADRIFT's compression algorithm.  Several rooms and a manipulatable object or two in a 2K game file.  Wow!  

I'll support the author's intentions by giving it the requisite 2 and move on.  No, no need to thank me.  Glad to be of service, really.

Score: 2 out of 10.


Reviewed by Michael Martin 

6 rooms, two takable objects, no NPCs, no end condition. This differs from the PTBAD games it purports to parody in that it doesn't even include attempted jokes.

Score: 1


Reviewed by Jimmy Maher 

Technical: 2 
Puzzles: 1 
Story: 1 

First off, the number you are looking for is 6.02×1023, as any good chemist will tell you.

Oh, it’s a self-referential parody of a parody franchise. The irony is overwhelming… yawn.

I hope this is intentional:

A goggles is on the couch.

Joy, undocumented exits.

Joy, first unreasonable death trap.

Yes, quickly got bored. I have a sneaking suspicion that I have to do something completely unreasonable to “win.” Well, now I can sleep peacefully knowing that I’ve finished another game. Thanks, Slan Sartre.


Reviewed by Ralph Merridew 

Why waste effort reviewing something that isn't even trying to be worthwhile?

Score: 1 X


Reviewed by Miseri 

Awful. A gimmick game with barely any implementation.


Reviewed by James Mitchelhill

PTGOOD - 1
Huh?! Is this like Sisyphus?


Reviewed by Niz

"The objective of the game is to kill Slan Xorax for terrorizing the IF community with terrible games". I assume Slan Xorax is a pseudonym for Sartre Malvolio, who authored this unplayable mess set in a Cancer Centre. Unimplemented objects in descriptions abound, available exits are often not even listed. After putting on a coat and goggles and finding nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, I realized I was wasting precious time that I could have been spending poking myself in the eye with a sharp stick, and quit.
(1/10)


Reviewed by Rifflesby

Implementation is very scanty -- many things not referrable to.

Some small grammatical errors ("A goggles"?) but nothing offensive.

Southeast is a laboratory -- why can't I go southeast (at present)?

Found an exit not referred to in room description (thank goodness for "You can't go in that direction, but you can go east, west and down.")

No, I do not know what a flow cytometer looks like. :)

'Natty' is an odd word, because it means the opposite of what it sounds to me like it ought to mean.

Found the goggles and the labcoat, but I'm stuck. No hints or walkthru available. I'm bored.

Generally I get the sense of not being in on the in-joke.

Rating: 2. might've been higher if I could finish it, or if I was familiar with whatever's being made fun of.

Later, a second look: It occurs to me that this game and mine apparently have something in common: we're both satirizing bad games(in my case, the Flash 'Escape the Room' genre, and in his case a series of IF games by a particular author). Is a game that's bad on purpose better than the same game would be if it was accidentally bad? Well, this depends on (a) whether or not the audience gets the joke. My game has an advantage in this regard, as it's a popular genre of web game, and even if a player isn't familiar with them, I at least explained in the ABOUT text what I was doing and why. No such help in PTGOOD -- if you hadn't played the other games, as I hadn't, you're just SOL. Still, in an attempt to factor in the author's intentions, I'm going to go play the PTBAD game from last year's comp.

Huh. Well, that was... something. Tell you what, just for grins, I'll play the previous one too. (by which I mean the previous Comp one, PTBAD3.)

Okay. It looks to me like "Xorax" attempted to make a surrealistic game, and unintentionally made a very bad game, and then followed it up
with a /deliberately/ very bad game, perhaps self-mockingly. (Perhaps not.) 

So: (b) is it an accurate satirization? Well, not really. I would expect a PTBAD parody to be heavily surreal, as the source material is, but PTGOOD isn't particularly surreal at all. Unless all the surreal bits are in the later part of the game, which, without a walkthru, I couldn't get to... really, the lack of a walkthru and poor implementation were the only similarities I noticed. Is the only satire the fact that you can (apparently) kill Xorax at the end? That's not much.

Finally, (c): if something is bad on purpose, it should be /amusingly/ bad. Take for example the movie "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera", which
takes the terrible dialogue of old SF B-movies and increases the ridiculousness by an order of magnitude, resulting in dialogue that's god-awful, but hilariously so. It's a bad movie that's fun to watch. Is this a bad game that's fun to play?

No.

Score remains a 2.


Reviewed by Dan Shiovitz

Equivalent in quality to previous games in the series. It is winnable, although to do so requires knowing there's a window in the starting room.


Reviewed by Mike Snyder

Game’s Blurb:
     In this uncut version that YOU DID NOT SEE IN THEATRES, you'll laugh your arse off at Xorax's evil stupidity, and get to play the role of his murderer. The most meanspirited IF parody to date! DOWN WITH PTBAD!

     XYZZY Response:
     I’m sorry, but XYZZY doesn’t do anything special in this game!

     It’s a “PT” that it’s not GOOD. Har har!!!

     This seemed like a good time to balance out my list. This was by no means one of the games I felt compelled to play (assuming I won’t be able to play every entry in time), but after a great run of selective reviewing, I think I need a couple shorter “bad” entries to prepare me for more. My reasoning is that I’ve played three great games in a row. Especially after the mind-blowing originality of Delightful Wallpaper, I needed a reality check so that maybe I’ll appreciate more good games to come as opposed to finding them somehow flat by comparison.

     I knew that Slan Xorax (er… Johnathan Berman? Sartre Malvolio?) wouldn’t let me down. PTGOOD 8*10^23 is one of the four I skipped earlier on my random list, and it’s predictably dismal. The file size alone (less than 2k) was a good indication that almost nothing would be implemented. The twist here is that you are on a mission to murder Xorax for creating the exact kind of game that this one is.

     I would rather see a twist where Xorax writes a good game (and sorry, no, the title doesn’t count). It’s starting to feel like a joke that has gone on for too long.

     I know you have to sign up within a month of the competition deadline, and that the last week or two require game information to be entered at the IFComp website. I think Xorax must handle this in two phases. First, I think he signs up and enters some silly title and blurb for a game he hasn’t created. Then, on the last day before the deadline, he throws together something unavoidably dire in a half-hearted frenzy to beat the clock. It doesn’t matter what. It’s the authorial equivalent of splashing paint against a canvas, then smearing it a little with your thumb. Whatever rooms and objects and actions work their way into the game, complete or otherwise, that’s his entry.

     That’s why I don’t feel bad when I mock the effort, as I might for a bad game in which the author actually did intend for something better. It sort of feels like a backhanded gift, from Slan Xorax to me: “I give to you the IF equivalent of a clogged toilet. Plunge away as you see fit.”

     Inky’s review tipped me to the existence of a window in the first room. I spent a little while trying to escape through it, but the gimmick is that it only has to be opened for an exit elsewhere to suddenly start working (and it didn’t before). This, surprisingly, makes the game winnable. It’s as underwhelming as I expected, but at least I got something back for my fifteen minutes of bewilderment.

     PTGOOD is far less surreal than the two prior PTBAD entries, but this is neither good nor bad. It doesn’t feel as though Xorax has taken great strides to write a bad game. It just seems like the obvious result of slapping together a joke game at the last minute. I’d like to give it a “1”, but since it can be finished and I really felt no great hatred for it, I give it a “2”. As a joke entry, it can go no higher without reaching into an area that would indicate more effort. It gets a “minus”, though, for mundane suckage.


Reviewed by JeromeCW

PTGOOD 8*10^23                          1               5%

What do you mean I'm not allowed to give it zero? Bah. Anyhow, at least this game has the honesty to be terrible up-front, thus allowing me not
to waste time on it which could be devoted to worthy games. I gave it a brief try, but the whole game consists of only seven (mostly empty)
locations. It's a shame, I kind of like the idea of a parody of bad IF, and I'm sure it could be funny if done well. Incidentally, I really
like the auto-completion feature for entering commands in Adrift. Perhaps it would annoy some people, but as a programmer it seems  perfectly natural to me. It would be great to have this feature in other terps (as an option of course).


Reviewed by Valentine Kopteltsev

Expressing one's protest against someone's littering the IF-Competition with intentionally bad games by littering the said Competition with more intentionally bad games hardly seems to be the answer. 

Rating 1


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