I was surprised the implementation was pretty rough and lacking verbs and understanding, unlike previous works by the author. It is in fact written in the historic ZIL language and compiled with tools Infocom authors used. Not sure going back to the past is that great.
This is a simple and short satire. There's pretty much exactly just one "play mechanic" and there's no real need for any walkthrough. When you see it, you'll know exactly what to do to impress that ogre...
As far as satire and short, entry-level works of IF, this is pretty good.
guess what? I very much prefer the interactions-dialogues via graphical symbols - quite easy actually as you only have to choose between 2 pairs or so, in contrast to old time guess-the-verb - in this game than the actual text, spelled-out in god-slow typing animation, which seems made for small children or retards and really goes like:
The TV is droning. The front door is closed.
You look at the clock.
You look at the door.
Grunk would be pleased. I didn't and gave it a 3 for the originality in the new take on guess-the-verb... and guess what? 3 there might well be about 2 or 1 here...
seriously, each year IFComp comes shockful with kids more illiterate than in previous years. Why even try to make a text game in the first place when you can't or don't like to write or read?
How about dropping the games and reading a good old book to learn how to actually write?
here's this game's blurb:
"Explore the wizard Bartholloco's castle with the help of a versatile magic wand. Can you overcome his challenge? Can you levitate a rock? Can you slice a baltavakia?
(Puzzle-oriented and family friendly.)"
sounds cool, huh?
no, no it is not cool. At all.
You see, there's a whole generation of players, and now authors too, that have never played text-adventures before. And yet, they try to make one - perhaps for some kind of retrogaming kink. One or another author may however surely have played one of these cool CYOA things, where you just tap/click your choices away (if any, that is, instead of just a disguise for click-next) to move the story forward.
But still they try to make ye text-adventure of ole. So, the first thing they do is to get away with verbs - it's a depressing trend really. In this game, you can only go directions, examine stuff and point a wand at things. No inventory-management (taking stuff makes the PC receive a shock).
Now that it is constrained enough that even Grunk or cyoa players can play it, it's time for real meat of the "gameplay": the wand comes with 3 colors in the shaft and by changing the color-combinations you can really make things go exciting! You have a color combo for OPENING THINGS and possibly many other useful actions!
Now isn't that ingenious and original? Instead of boring the player out of finding some key to a door or something, you make the player tinker with the colors in the wand until they find a combo that works for OPENing a door! Wow, isn't that versatile wand something? It really made it worthwhile to delete all the standard verbs and make it so mindnumbly dull to make simple things happen! It is almost as ingenious and versatile and constraining as that char-removal device in Counterfeit Monkey, right?
seriously, get a grip...
so, not interested in the gameplay, writing is kids level, setting is as generic as possible, yadda-yadda-yadda. I'll give one more star because I feel it's written in good will.
BTW, I didn't enjoy DiBianca's walking simulator last year either... my suggestion is to play some real older parser IF (because new parser IF is all fucked up) and to get back to the drawing board...
poor guy uses twine to write out his inner rage against those lucky few economic elite bastards
this clickable static fiction reads so single-mindedly and plays so linearly that even the author seemed to get bored with it and thus finally offered one more choice, one that seems central to the plot:
Emma takes a "gap year" after graduation in order to find out what she really wants to do with her life.
> Travel, vacation, shopping! London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo, New York!
> Compassion and volunteer work. Helping the poor in society and striving for a fair and just world.
it was obviously very out of character for Emma, thus I chose the latter and guess what?
It was tedious and uninteresting work, and she decided to find something more useful to with her life instead.
sure enough, there was no real choice in the single-minded rage propaganda with a 1-dimensional character about as deep as the author's mind... so much for choice-games... the only real choice here is to keep churning and filling ifdb with 1-star clickable static fiction...
Kill or be killed in a manichean fictional setting. is it possible to even get killed? Perhaps it's random or just happens to be one of the possible static outcomes in this hypertext
Seriously lacking too in breadth of action: got to a single finale by just linearly clicking single choices offered, like opening a drawer. I wasn't impressed enough to try other paths.
Frankly, last year's IFComp title 16 Ways to kill a vampire at McDonald's is just way more polished and better executed game of the same genre and theme.
And a very good one at that. Then again, not everyone gets jokes...
BTW, the author is now listed as Anonymous. But I remember very well it was by Adam Cadre.