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The First Great Puzzleless Game, February 24, 2016
The 1998 Comp saw the opposition of two game philosophies. Photopia used dialogue to reinforce its ideas of randomness and meaninglessness. Human Resources Stories bitterly mimicked a real conversation, with its real worries. One of them has been remembered and needs no introduction, the other forgotten.
As a game about job interviews, HRS has virtually never been imitated or improved upon. Most games do not approach real topics, and those that do, such as Necrotic Drift or A Colder Light put the fantastical before the real.
HRS has two parts: a programming interview in the game proper, and a long rant accessed by casting XYZZY. Photopia was a long train of thought, running long after being out of ideas. Both approaches have been used before the Comp and afterwards, sometimes even successfully, but it was during the Dragon Comp that someone found a way to combine them.
Dragon Resources Stories compromised and balanced, achieving the best of both worlds. It is no longer than it has to be, it contains no walls of text, and condenses both a fun story and an appeal to our worries about the world. DRS is puzzleless, and it's a joke, but it's approach make the game work depite itself.
- DJ (Olalla, Washington), May 9, 2013
- deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN), February 7, 2013
- Genjar (Finland), August 31, 2008
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