Back to the Future: Marty Quest

by George Gipe, Ryan North, and Hulk Handsome profile


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Made me laugh, April 26, 2012
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)

I can't give stars because if you like this sort of thing, you'll like the game (I did,) and if you don't, you won't. And I hope this review doesn't wind up looking like a beta-test for a game meant to be part of a speed competition, where these things happen & are part of the fun.

Because speedily written games don't have to be profound. If they try too hard, in fact, they'll fail. So often they are battles of quick laughs vs implementation. This game's subject is a good one--one of the worst passages in a truly terrible book I read many years ago--and it borrows from a blog post that gives a shell of a ridiculous game.

The solution is straightforward if you (Spoiler - click to show)follow the link on the game's page and it's also one of those games where you only have so many items and so many things to do, and the verbs are hinted well. The extra endings, good and bad, added to the blog post are quite funny, too.

In the first version, you can (Spoiler - click to show)just take the skateboard to make like a tree and leave before distracting Strickland, which gives a funny if not logical ending, or you can (Spoiler - click to show)reach a "win" room (irony?) if you go west with 6 points, instead of opening the door to the west to stick yourself in a no-win situation. You can also (Spoiler - click to show)set off the smoke detector without shooting the matchbook at it.

These are mistakes. I think. But then, the full solution also follows the rule of (Spoiler - click to show)making everything in the game have a purpose, so it could be the author throwing in another joke. Especially since these errors are far less grating than the awful writing the game makes fun of. But I don't want to think too hard about this. This game gave me several minutes of genuine juvenile humor which allowed it to get away with glitches. And I really like Strickland as a text adventure villain.

If the author revises, though, I demand (Spoiler - click to show)a clever rank for if you score 0 out of 8.

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Hulk Handsome, April 26, 2012 - Reply
Whoops, those last two things are indeed mistakes! I'll try to make some time to fix them up and upload a new version, even though I think I've already put WAY more time than I need to into a game that was originally made as a joke.
Hulk Handsome, April 27, 2012 - Reply
Fixed everything you mentioned (and a couple other small things I found). Should show up at the if archive soon.
Andrew Schultz, April 27, 2012 - Reply
Wow! Cool. Yeah. That is a problem with making a quick joke, because even simple text adventures--or stuff you do as an exercise--can tend to spin out of control. It's frustrating.

Also it was tough as a reviewer to point this sort of thing out, because I can feel like That Guy. I wavered a bit before deciding it wasn't worth wasting time on going back and forth. But I'll definitely play the new version at IFArchive.
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