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About the Story
"It's the first day of high school and you've decided to give yourself a mohawk. Now you've gotta stand up to teachers, impress peers and make a name for yourself until you've earned enough Punk Points to escape the suburbs." [--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]
Nominee, Best NPCs - 2000 XYZZY Awards
22nd Place - 6th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2000)
You're a teenager trying to demonstrate to yourself and to your peers how angry and rebellious you are. The attitude comes across well, and the puzzles do a reasonably good job of conveying the challenges a would-be punk faces (and the punk's approach to overcoming them)--the main problem is that some of the solutions are a bit obscure and insufficiently clued (or encounter syntax problems). The implementation isn't perfect, but it's adequate, and the writing occasionally shines. A hint system and a bug cleanup from being a top-notch effort.
-- Duncan Stevens
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
Here's a thesis: the method for making a great punk rock song is antithetical to the method for making a great IF game. See, when you're making punk rock, the main thing is emotion. It doesn't matter if you play the wrong chord, or sing the wrong note, or say the wrong words -- those are details, and they aren't important... But great IF doesn't get made like this. The best IF authors are less like Sid Vicious or Jello Biafra and more like Todd Rundgren or (to take a really non-punk example) Mick Jones of Foreigner. That is to say, they are studio wizards who put endless attention into the details...
By now you probably know where I'm going with this analogy. Punk Points is put together like a great punk rock song, which unfortunately makes it pretty much middling poor IF.
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This is a short game about a boy in a strict Catholic high school and its "adventures" as a punk rebel wannabe. The writing is quite good, conveying a nice atmosphere in the dialogues and the cutscenes, and making the PC and its friends quite believable. The puzzles are OK, quite simple and somewhat entertaining, but sometimes suffer from guess-the-verb problems (but since English isn't my native language, I may be wrong). My main reproach is the implementation: there are some bugs and typos (as well as some whitespaces missing here and there), not many interactive objects, and the characters are also sparserly implemented, with only a couple of one-line answers; it's light, fast and sometimes not very-well executed -- as a punk gig could be. In a nutshell I liked the theme, the game was quite good, but a bit empty and lacked a better implementation.
In this game, you are in a strict Catholic school, and you have to show how much you can rebel.
It's a sort of grungy, pimple-popping feel, sort of the way I've heard Odysseus and Catcher in the Rye described. The f*** word is sprinkled throughout, as well as a few other profanities, some teenage drinking, etc.
Basically, you have some punk friends, and you want to show everyone how punk you are by mouthing off, wearing crazy stuff, swiping things, etc.
I stopped playing partway through, because it's not my sort of thing.
A series of awkward guess-the-verb puzzles punctuated by amusing, well-written cutscenes. A walkthrough would make this into a light read. Only recommended if you are willing to guess the verb in return for a story about a High School boy who wants his peers to think he is hardcore.
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