The Gallery of Henri Beauchamp

by Mike Vollmer profile


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Number of Reviews: 4
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
I do not recommend it for playing., December 15, 2012
by Wade Clarke (Sydney, Australia)
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The piece of short fiction this eponymous game is based on takes the form of an urban myth-like set of directions for finding a mythical art gallery hidden behind a bar in Paris. The penalty for deviating from the instructions once you've started to follow them is grisly death. The story apparently hails from the often stupid internet thing known as 4chan, where all users are anonymous. It's a good story which I read after playing this game, and which I then decided I should have read instead of playing this game.

The Gallery of Henri Beauchamp, the game, cleaves to the source text, often reproducing large chunks of it verbatim. Given the small size of both game and source, the majority of the prose is identical in both formats. All you can do in the game is type commands which correspond to the successful following of the directions – resulting in you continuing through those directions – or type commands which do not correspond to the successful following of directions, resulting in one of the grisly deaths, also usually reproduced word for word from the story.

Between the content duplication and the absence of any additional interactive possibilities, the game doesn't really justify its existence in its current form. And even within its highly constrained scope, it demonstrates next to no implementation. The first location is a bar containing a bartender who has no description, and beer that responds to DRINK BEER with "There's nothing suitable to drink here." The game continues in this fashion, sometimes only responding to unusual verbs cued by the source, and I would say that it is impossible to score more than one out of seven available points without first reading either the source material or all of the contents of the game's help menu. The latter option is no way to enjoyably play a game and the former, while enjoyable, obviates the need to play the game.