Reviews by AKheon

IF Comp 2003

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The Fat Lardo and the Rubber Ducky, by Anonymous

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
The game's title says it all, August 26, 2020
by AKheon (Finland)
Related reviews: parser-based, comedy, IF Comp 2003, Inform

The Fat Lardo and the Rubber Ducky is a very short, seemingly aimless parser-based game from 2003. Its flippant subject matter caught my attention, so I decided to give it a try.

You are apparently an obese, simple-minded man confined in a small room with a rubber duck. You are invited to pick up the duck and use various verbs on it to see what happens, but in the process the narrator will insult you.

I must admit that the extremely abusive, foul-mouthed narrator voice caught me off guard at first, making me laugh out loud. It's not very often you get a narrator like this in Interactive Fiction, so the game is pretty unique in this respect. I even thought whether (Spoiler - click to show)we could be dealing with a completely unreliable narrator here. He does seem to be quite petty and intent on disliking you, so he probably wouldn't be above embellishing some important details about how ugly, fat, clumsy, dumb and gassy your character actually is. But the truth of the matter is probably irrelevant, since almost nothing happens in this game. There are no big character moments, no grand revelation, no heartbreaks to mend (except maybe the player's own, if they listen to the insults for long enough).

The implementation is better than you'd expect, but still not very thorough. There are only two things to interact with: the player and the duck. Many standard verbs give generic messages. A lot of the verbs hinted by the prose do nothing. Especially by modern parser-based game standards, it comes across somewhat inconsistent and slight, and it doesn't help that the humor is pretty one-note as well.

This game might be fun for 10 - 15 minutes if you're someone with a dark sense of humor (like me) and also enough of a pedantic completionist that you'd try scrounging the limits of a joke game to find all the verbs that work (also like me). But for anyone else, might be the best to steer clear...

Oh, and I did find an ending (of sort) to the game: (Spoiler - click to show)by typing "xyzzy".



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