External Links


Play Online
Play this game in your Web browser.

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to external links
All updates to this page

You are SpamZapper 3.1

by Leon Arnott

2021

Web Site

(based on 29 ratings)
11 reviews

About the Story

DISTINGUISH TRUTH AND SCAMS IN OVER 130 UNIQUE EMAILS • PROTECT THE INBOX FROM URBAN LEGENDS • EXCHANGE WITTY REPARTEE WITH YOUR PLUGIN COWORKERS • CROSS SWORDS WITH A DEADLY EMAIL WORM • LEARN WAY TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR USER'S FRIENDS


Game Details


Awards

9th place - 27th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2021)

Tags

- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)

(Log in to add your own tags)
Tags you added are shown below with checkmarks. To remove one of your tags, simply un-check it.

Enter new tags here (use commas to separate tags):

Member Reviews

5 star:
(9)
4 star:
(9)
3 star:
(6)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(2)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 11
Write a review


Most Helpful Member Reviews


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
16 hour shift as a plugin, October 31, 2021

In the beginning of this game, you read emails and decide if they are spam or not. It is mildly amusing at first, as the emails are well written parodies of the usual junk we all see everyday. This section goes on quite a while longer than I felt it needed to, as the player is required to continually choose "zap" or "approve" long after the novelty has worn off and the point has been made. The game eventually evolves. However, even once things open up to include new characters and shifting dilemmas, every section of the game repeats the same transgression: it just keeps going and going. There must have been six or seven false endings, each more tedious than the last. All the characters are overly melodramatic, wringing their hands over every detail of every decision. A large percentage of the game is just scrolling and clicking to get to the next section of the text, with no real choices. The puzzles that do arrive in the later half of the game require you to either reread numerous lengthy passages in search of deeply buried keywords, or go through a giant list of email contacts, hoping one of them has the hint you are looking for. I would estimate it took me upwards of three and a half hours. I think if it were between 30 and 45 minutes, it could have been a lot of fun and still have been full of surprises.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
The private lives of plugins, October 9, 2021
by ChrisM (Cambridge, UK)

I went into this game not expecting to get out of it as much as I did - its blurb doesn't do it justice. But I found it completely absorbing. It starts off as a cute little story about the secret lives of software plugins - you’re a spam filter, tasked with reading an endless procession of emails and deciding whether or not they’re worthy to pass into the inbox of the human whose computer you inhabit - and then develops into a fascinating journey through time, space, memory and the entangled relationships of sentient beings (both human and artificial).

At its heart, it’s a love story, and a very well-written and frequently very funny one at that; if that wasn’t so then I could imagine the earlier section of the game, in which you read your way through a steady stream of faux emails and simply have to decide whether to ‘zap’ or approve them, would become rapidly quite wearing - but I found that the writing was skilful and entertaining enough to avoid that. After the preliminaries, the game opens out and the story and characters come to the fore, the non-human protagonist and their friends being, for the most part, a far more likeable and interesting bunch than the humans they serve; its their attempts to influence events in the outside world that drives the narrative along but their interactions with one another that provide the lion’s share of the entertainment. It’s a hard task to elicit empathy with a spam filter and the equivalent of Clippy, but somehow this game manages to do it, while offering up a thoroughly entertaining story and a few (very easy) puzzles along the way.

This is an author who knows how to spin a rattling good yarn and keep readers along for the duration; I took me around three hours to get through the game and I felt it was time well spent. Linearity seems quite high and the sense of player agency quite low - that might bother the sorts of players who are inclined to replay choice-based games to explore different branches, but I tend to play games like I play life, largely blind to the paths not taken, so it didn't worry me. The implementation in Twine is carefully done with a few different backgrounds and sparing use of text effects - simple and very effective.

Altogether I found it completely enjoyable. I’d certainly recommend this to anyone looking first and foremost for a good story.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
If only zapping real spam were so rewarding..., October 7, 2021
by jsnlv (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2021

It is the year 2000, and you are a mailbox plugin whose purpose is to eradicate annoying and malicious emails.

Whether an email is annoying or malicious isn't as clear-cut as you might hope. Sure, the unsolicited advertisements and bulk-mail phishing schemes seem obvious enough. What about newsletters your user might have deliberately signed up for, though? What about chain letters or fundraising scams forwarded by your user's less considerate contacts? Dozens of such notorious categories of junk messages await your evaluation.

This would be a fine diversion by itself. Here's your queue of email to review: pick one and read it. Consider the color, context, and comedy provided by your internal monologue. Make your decision. Zap, or Approve? Your choice made, it's on to the next email. The routine is no less enjoyable for its simplicity.

Beyond the routine, though, a narrative emerges. Your protagonist, "Zap", may just be simple mailbox plug-in, but it has personality, opinions, and agency. It has colleagues: even friends. These characters and concepts grow in tandem with the importance of the messages you're reviewing. As the situation develops, actual puzzles appear. (You may brute-force these at your discretion.)

I found myself entertained. Zapping spam was engaging, while the puzzles rewarded attention and intuition. The story took unexpected turns. I worried that the long and sprawling narrative might work against the simple joy of spam elimination, but my fears proved unfounded. Despite playing for minutes shy of two hours, You are SpamZapper 3.1 never wore out its welcome. I recommend this without reservations.

Was this review helpful to you?   Yes   No   Remove vote  
More Options

 | Add a comment 

See All 11 Member Reviews

You are SpamZapper 3.1 on IFDB

Recommended Lists

You are SpamZapper 3.1 appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Extremely Online Games by autumnc
Games about being Extremely Online. Games that take place mostly on a simulated internet UI of some sort, games about online culture and relationships.

Some of my favorites by OverThinking
In alphabetical order

Polls

The following polls include votes for You are SpamZapper 3.1:

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Story of 2021 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2021 which you think might be worth considering for Best Story in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest games...

The New Abstract by strivenword
Time goes on, vibes change, people change, historical thresholds are crossed. I always loved the unique kind of abstract/surreal genre in IF. I don't want to give a grocery list of the games that I liked it in, because I don't want it to...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Overall NPCs of 2021 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2021 which you think might be worth considering for Best NPCs in the XYZZY awards. This is for the overall NPCs of the game; there is another poll for best individual NPCs. This is not a...

See all polls with votes for this game




This is version 5 of this page, edited by Zape on 21 November 2021 at 2:06am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page