Number of Reviews: 4
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Extremely funny throughout, March 8, 2008
Leonard Richardson's writing in this work is the most consistently funny piece of interactive fiction I've encountered. He has a flair for doling out expert satire using a tongue-in-cheek style that somehow never lets you know the joke is coming before you've already started laughing.
The game's concept was inspired by the eponymous "guess the verb" problem found in many poor-quality games, but you won't encounter that problem yourself, since the unusual verbs required are deliberately spelled out for you. Your not-too-difficult job is to find when to use them.
I simply can't understand how this game scored just 11th place in the 2000 IF Comp. Only two possibilities come to mind:
First, players might not have caught onto the central puzzle of how the verb-guessing booth's attendant can be fooled. Without this, the game would have never gone anywhere or ended very quickly. The real comedy starts after you've figured this out.
Second, players might have panned the game because it is not a traditional piece of IF; there is not a central well-defined story. Rather, this piece is more of a playground for both author and player, stuffed to the gills with hilarious riffs on both famous works and IF in general. Every "examine", "show", or "ask" is an opportunity for Mr. Richardson to make you chuckle yet again.
Either way, this ranking was a grave mistake -- Guess the Verb! is a gem and a must-play in my book. I am tempted to give it 5 stars, but I am holding onto that "perfect" score for the future piece from this author that will surely earn them.