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Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
original competition entry
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Walkthrough and map
by David Welbourn

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Piece of Mind

by Giles Boutel

Surreal, Science Fiction

(based on 6 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Piece of Mind is a short, humorous work which uses the first person "puppet" concept from Scott Adams and other early games and examines the possible causes and consequences of being so controlled by the player. On the way to insight into the protagonist's nature the player will come across some parody (X-Files, cheesy SF), some poetry (real and instant), and perhaps even the odd moral dilemma.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details


16th Place - 2nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1996)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A short game that plays with various levels of simulation and fiction, including the relationship between player and player character in adventure games. Not as abstract as it sounds, though. The main character (an unsuccessful guitarist and programmer) has a definite outlook on life and bad science fiction. The different components of his reality do ultimately cohere, even if it isn't obvious from the outset how. Bizarre and only half serious.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

The switching of tense - from first-person past in the introduction, to first-person present in the main framework, to an omnipresent third-person tense for a sub-"plot" - is a very ambitious hack of the Inform grammar. [...] Try to give your entry a little more plot and consistency.
-- Christopher E. Forman
See the full review

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

This story seemed to struggle to find its voice, vacillating between the chilling (the voice in the boxes), the satirical (the copyright man), and the bubblegum epic (participating in the adventures of Jeff Steele, Galactic Hero, and battling the Chromium Knight). The writing never seemed to settle into one style, and as a result the entire work felt disjointed, as it was not the result of a unified vision, but rather a collection of “wouldn’t this be neat?” concepts, halfheartedly strung together. The other lasting impression left by the game is one of frustration, since a bug prevents players from winning. Consequently, although Piece has some interesting moments, it fails as a whole.
See the full review


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Number of Reviews: 1
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A meta-game about the role of PC and player, May 22, 2016

In this game, the main character discovers that they have been paralyzed unless someone (the player) types them commands; they have become a sort of puppet.

The game explores the interaction between player and PC, while a mysterious voice gives dark quotes in the background.

The game is very descriptive and the writing is good, but eventually holes start showing up, and the puzzles can be very unintuitive and frustrating.

David Welbourn has an excellent walkthrough for this game.

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Piece of Mind on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Piece of Mind appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Games about interactive fiction itself by MathBrush
This is hopefully my last list. These are games that comment on the nature of interactive fiction or the interactive fiction community itself. The quality of these games varies wildly, and this list doesn't attempt to sort by quality....


The following polls include votes for Piece of Mind:

Split-up PC functionality by baf
In a normal game, there is a single fictional entity that is considered to be: - The protagonist: the character that the player is meant to identify with, and whose goals you are trying to achieve - The viewpoint character: the character...

This is version 7 of this page, edited by Paul O'Brian on 5 May 2022 at 1:39am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page