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About the Story
Please to visit Guillermo, New Mexico USA, home of Trendly's Cyber Trends the makers of Cliikus. Scenic wonders, hip neighborhoods, and the more viral memes are there. Grunk Zork Opp Meep! Guillermo Tourist Bureau
Entrant - ShuffleComp 2014
Number of Reviews: 2
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You are on the trail of Greggery Peccary, the star programmer of Trendly's Cyber Trends, who designed addictive games such as Cliikus... and now he's gone. Cyber Trends is worried, there is unrest, and it's up to you to search Guillermo City to find Greggery Peccary.
This game was submitted as part of Shufflecomp - based on Frank Zappa's The Myth of Greggery Peccary, which refers, in part, to the people who create trends... if I read the lyrics correctly. This explains the almost constant references to, well, trends and memes. You'll spot it when you see it, really.
The language is deliberately mangled - yes, it's difficult to read - which, if I read it correctly, it makes a nod to badly translated Japanese-to-English. The game touches on some ideas of using addictive media to anesthesise a population (a la Fahrenheit 451) and government-sponsored mind control, though they were never explored in detail.
One interesting feature is an adaptive map (i.e. map changes with your progress in the story). The way The Peccary Myth treats navigation is, as another reviewer has pointed out, similar to a point and click game. The story's geography is clearly set out, a helpful tool for the player, though this was not crucial to the game.
The Peccary Myth is a game which laughs at itself and is chock full of wit, but it's let down by a lack of focus on any one theme.
I still prefer parser-based stuff, but PM was a well-done effort that managed to get the good parts of point and click (quick to navigate, immersive, easy to remember what you did) without the bad parts (tough to find the place to click for certain "puzzles.") On the strength of the map alone, which unlocks areas as you discover new evidence about aliens, PM is worth a go.
I mean, you can argue any Twine game is a point-and-click, but the big difference here is having a map you can look through and adjust. It's a bit above Bound, because there the map just described where you were in an apartment, and this was a cheerier, more absurdist mix of city and countryside.
There's only one puzzle in the game, which is (Spoiler - click to show)just remembering a string of four nonsense words, and while the writing doesn't soar, it's very pleasing to open up the university, the trendy areas in a city, and the secret passage from/to the desert.
ShuffleComp had many successful experiments, but this game felt like it built on several experiments the author tried themselves. I forget if I gave it a commended vote, but it was on the fence. It had sensible organization to go with a goofy back plot (the silliness quotient feels about right,) and that is always a good combination. Plus it reminded me I really wanted to listen to more Frank Zappa, and a side aim of the competition was to expose people to new music.