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About the Story
"Tooth beavers, hermits, phallic-shaped dust tomatos. Billed a living memorial to the wit, style, and unintentional genius of Rybread Celsius by Cody Sandifer." [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]
23rd Place - 4th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1998)
More Rybread, but this one has a twist--slightly less deranged author Cody Sandifer collaborated, to some extent, and bits of Cody's interview with Rybread are sprinkled through the game. The interview is very funny; the rest is just more Rybread weirdness (i.e., terrible writing, jokes that only Rybread understands, and general incomprehensibility). Best experienced with the aid of various chemicals, I understand.
-- Duncan Stevens
[...] Whatever the truth behind the smokescreen, opinion is clearly divided on the Celsius oeuvre. He appears to have an enthusiastic cult following who look at his works and see the stamp of genius, paralleled by another group who look at those selfsame works and see only barely coherent English and buggy code. I have always counted myself among the latter. [...] (Paul O'Brian)
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
As usual, my regular categories don't apply. Plot, puzzles, writing -- forget about it. Acid Whiplash has no real interaction or story in any meaningful sense. (There is, however, one very funny scene where we learn that Rybread is in fact the evil twin of a well-known IF author). If you're looking for a plot, or even something vaguely coherent, you ought to know that you're looking in the wrong place.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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A funny game at times, but tedious. I don’t know what I would think of Rybread if I hadn’t happened to play this game first. Certainly it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I also enjoy Ed Wood, so hey. It’s a good fit.
The writing is at its best lampooning literary criticism, doing unique or otherwise unvisualizeable things with language (e.g., (Spoiler - click to show)“Room in the Shape of a Burning Credit Card”), or toying with notions of interactivity (e.g., (Spoiler - click to show)playing with audience assumptions in the first interview scene). Those elements make Acid Whiplash recommendable. It could’ve done those things more frequently, though. Irritable players: use a walkthrough (I did).
Its non-sequitur humor gets stale quickly. Why did it have to include any mazes? I sort of wish the game just had a word you could type in to skip from one interview scene to the next.
Rybread Celsius has been called the worst author in IF (as stated in this game). His games, such as Symetry, are poorly coded and misspelled and often laughably bad.
This game is more polished in programming, but with the same style of writing and gameplay. You go through a series of disconnected scenes, which include numerous pieces of a hilarious interview with Celsius.
The game contains some profanity, some lewdness. If you like absurd games or learning more about the IF community, you may enjoy this game. It references all of his previous games, Graham Nelson and his games, Unnkulia, Spider and Web, and many more.
Edit: Since I wrote this article, Johanna De Niro has written a very interesting article on Rybread Celsius that has made me appreciate their work much more. It is available at Sub-Q magazine.
This is the first Rybread game I've played; it seems to be the kind of thing that usually gets described as "unique" and "like being on drugs". But it isn't unique, really; it's just the same old kind of thing that tends to result from the misconception that random absurdity is the same thing as creativity.
It did start quite promisingly:
Womb with a view
This is a room. You feel very comfortable here. Its got lots of space. But you feel a need for something more, something to fulfill your life. You can go north.
No you can't, I lied. Try west.
Now I thought that was funny — and there were a few other genuinely amusing moments in the game too, but a lot of it was just tedious. I found the "interview excerpts" particularly tedious; page-long infodumps with the tired premise of taking absurd things seriously.
(I do realise that this game is nearly a decade old as I write this, but I'm sure this kind of thing was pretty old even then.)
If you want to see "weird" done well, I'd recommend you try Deadline Enchanter instead.
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