When Help Collides

by J. D. Berry

Western/Fantasy/Eastern/Satire
2002

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Number of Reviews: 4
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
I'm not quite sure what I just played. A meta-game about help systems, February 3, 2016

This is a shortish parser game that has a main game and three subgames. You are the help system for several interactive fiction games, but something keeps malfunctioning.

I tried this game with and without the walkthrough, and it was honestly bewildering. You can spend a long time on things that turn out to be completely unimportant. You frequently have to repeat commands multiple times without feedback that you are on the right track. Several areas require you to wait and wait and wait and wait.

The three minigames are interesting; I believe they represent games that you could give help for.

One is a Geisha simulator, where you don't have the regular verbs, and you can only schedule clients and reserve rooms while training for your Geisha exam. This is randomized and hard.

Another is a Lovecraftian western. This one was confusing, but fun.

The last game was really very creative and fun. You are playing Dungeons and Dragons one-on-one with a Dungeon Master, and he becomes the parser. You have a character sheet, and quests, and so on. It was really fun, especially because the Dungeon Master is purposely bad.

Overall, a mixed bag. I feel like others would be less confused than me, but I found this game very confusing. The minigames were fun, though.