Ditch Day Drifter

by Michael J. Roberts profile


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Number of Ratings: 22
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- Jim Nelson (San Francisco), January 23, 2022

- Zape, November 15, 2020

- Arrowhead12 (Edmonton, Alberta), June 11, 2020

- Stian, March 4, 2019

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
The first TADS demo game; sparse and simple, but some innovation, February 3, 2016

This game is a demo, showing what TADS can do (back in 1990, before the many updates it has experienced). In that sense, it's somewhat similar to Graham Nelson's Deja Vu and/or Balances, which were meant to show off Inform.

The writing is fairly spare, and most rooms have only one item. Many things are shown off: ability to tie things and thus change exits; chutes leading from one area to another; putting things in an object; NPCs that follow you around; a money system; a funnel; etc.

The storyline was only thinly sketched; you walk around collecting a random series of objects on a college campus for Ditch Day, when seniors pose problems to freshmen.

I haven't played the sequels yet, but I intend to. Deep Space Drifter was an immediate sequel, which had mixed reception. But Return to Ditch Day, written over a decade later to show off TADS 3, was good enough to get a Best Game XYZZY nomination, so I look forward to playing it.

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), February 1, 2016

- kala (Finland), August 10, 2015

- Thrax, March 23, 2015

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Perfect For Newcomers, February 28, 2014

Intended to be an introduction to Text Adventures/Interactive Fiction and that is exactly what you get with Ditch Day Drifter. The author done a very nice job of throwing together a game full of pretty basic, very commonly found situations in the Interactive Fiction world. Yes, there are puzzles in this fairly short treasure hunt, but the puzzles are clearly cued keeping justified-frustration to a minimum which can easily make or break a game for me. I recommend Ditch Day if you're new to Interactive Fiction or just looking for a game that shouldn't take you too long to complete and don't mind dealing with a few obstacles that shouldn't be too difficult for you to figure out how to get around even without hints and walkthroughs.

- amciek (Opole), December 18, 2011

- Walter Sandsquish, February 2, 2011

- voidf.0xb3 (Moscow, Russia), June 30, 2010

- lupusrex (Seattle, WA), October 4, 2009

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Happy Hunting, January 23, 2009
by Andromache (Hawaii)

Every once in a while, I'm in the mood for an old-fashioned treasure hunt. This game sounded like just the thing to satisfy my craving. Well, it didn't disappoint.

First, the negatives: no hint/help system, and I couldn't figure out how to get the game to tell me when my score went up. Not that I couldn't check the status line, but I'd have felt more accomplishment if I'd been notified. But those are really personal preferences.

The game was put together well. No bugs that I ran into, puzzles were really easy, and the most annoying thing was just the hunger/sleep. Even the maze was easy. I solved it by myself by taking a few notes. I'm very proud of that.

The only reason I give the game three stars instead of four is that I had to play through it twice because I took so long exploring everything. But really, the game is finishable with only one item of food. I liked the game enough to play the sequel. Usually, treasure hunts aren't my first choice, but this game was so straightforward and smooth to play that I'd recommend it.

2 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
!!Ditch Day helped me!!, December 5, 2008
by tadsPro (Oklahoma)

I learned a lot of things from this game.I was writing my own game in TADS 2 and was wondering about adding characters in my game.I looked at the code of this game and then i implemented characters in my game.I like the robot Lolyd very much. The author made the robot alive and if you play the game you will find how annoying Lolyd is but i am sure you will love it.
Besides Lolyd, there are other characters like the guard and the receptionist. You will get a chance to solve a variety of puzzles if you play this game.Its my favourite game until now!

- Nathan (Utah), October 25, 2008

- madducks (Indianapolis, Indiana), September 5, 2008

- schifter (Louisville, KY), August 17, 2008

- Moses Templeton, May 3, 2008

- Interference (Oxford, England), February 14, 2008

- Michael R. Bacon (New Mexico), October 23, 2007

- Eric Eve (Oxford, England), October 22, 2007

Baf's Guide

Yes, it's the game included in the TADS distribution as sample code. At Caltech, the tradition on Ditch Day is for underclassmen to try to get past the obstacles that the seniors put on their doors. In your case, this means a treasure hunt in the Great Undergraduate Excavation. Lightweight in both mood and puzzle content. Includes hunger and sleep. Contains Planetfall references and one grid-mappable maze.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

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