The Eleusinian Miseries

by Mike Russo profile


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Flippant, October 11, 2020

The "Eleusinian Miseries" follows a vacuous, self-absorbed player-character as he is introduced into an ancient Greek mystery cult. Amusingly, the cult resembles American universities' fraternities, and their mild hazing rituals and toga parties, except its members speak with British idioms and have names like Alky and Puffy.

While "Miseries" characters are well-acquainted with ancient Greek clothing, foods, vases, and architecture, they are also flippantly vague on other Greek folkways. The PC's unrequited adoration of his friend, his ineptitude at practical tasks, and his surprising aptitude at accidentally emasculating statues of Hermes appears to be a joke about the virility of either the ancient Greeks, American fraternity brothers, or British trust-fund kids. Regardless of the way you read it, it's pretty funny.

The game is structured by five distinct scenes. The first scene is a well-designed and implemented set of find and fetch tasks. The second scene is a little under-clued and linear, with a brute-force puzzle (Spoiler - click to show)(you'll need to try a lot of clothing combinations until you find out what amuses your cult-mates) and a guess-the-verb puzzle (Spoiler - click to show)(if you want to splash or spatter something on yourself, try "wash" instead). The third scene is more open and involves some lateral-thinking repair puzzles. The fourth scene has little interaction, but carries some thematic weight for the game. And the final scene is a clever optimization puzzle which points to several alternate game endings.

"Eleusinian Miseries" is a funny, engaging, well-structured game, with only a few implementation problems.

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E.K., October 14, 2020 - Reply
I think there are multiple ways of solving at least some of the puzzles - I didn't need to use (Spoiler - click to show)"wash" at any point, instead I (Spoiler - click to show)put a toothpick in my eye to keep from falling asleep, and drank the water to stop sneezing (I'm not sure which of these two puzzles you solved by washing). I also solved the "brute force" puzzle on my first try, simply by choosing what I thought seemed like the funniest items.
Walter Sandsquish, October 15, 2020 - Reply
The toothpick is an alternate solution to the puzzle I had verb problems with. The author said he had implemented one of the verbs I tried to use, but it didn't work for me, so there's probably a bug in there somewhere. It might even be a problem with I7's standard library.
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