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43rd Place - 12th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2006)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Sometimes I find purposely bad games charming, and others have found this one so in the past, but I think it's just dumb. Especially since you have to open a window in the first room to make a later exit work, for no reason at all!
All you do is explore a lab to find and kill Slan Xorax (an alias for Jonathan Berman). Not much else here.
There's something almost beautifully ironic about writing a bad game which is supposed to be about stopping people from making bad games. I really wish I could believe that this game is badly written on purpose, that the empty locations, direction bugs and early guess-the-verb puzzle that I wasted a good half-hour on before deciding this game had taken enough time, was written badly on purpose as an ironic joke.
At least then there would be some purpose to it. Even still, a joke like that belongs as an independent release, not in a competition where it takes valuable time away from games that actually have substance. This game is just bad. There is nothing else to it. Not to mention the whole Slan Xorax idea, which was lost on me, sounds like an attempt at a juvenile in-joke plot. I can only guess that Slan is an author of games that Sartre, at least, thinks are bad and this is some sort of poor homage to him.
As mentioned in the capsule, the locations lacked description. In one case, where exits actually were described, they were described wrong (the lab was said to be south-east, it was actually west), and I ran into a wall quite fast. That might be in some parts related to me poor problem solving ability, but nothing about this game gave me any desire to try harder, so I guess it doesn’t matter in the end.
This is the kind of game I wish i’d bought, so I could self-righteously demand my money back.
If you’re not judging, don't play it. There are so many good games out there.
Originally Published at Silicon Dreams during the 2006 Interactive Fiction Competition