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About the Story
Expect no more than what the title says. No plot, but lots of strange or time-dependent puzzles.
34th Place - 3rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1997)
Awful. Even the goal isn't clear--you arrive at home and wander around aimlessly. Crawling with bugs, offensive--you order your mother to get you food, clean up after you, etc.--and just plain annoying. Good for MSTing, but not much else.
-- Duncan Stevens
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
Coming Home is an unremittingly awful game, one which never should have been released publicly. It's hard to think of it even as an exercise for the author to learn Inform, so buggy and illogical are its basic design and implementation. Perhaps it could be considered a first step toward learning the language; in my opinion, such bumbling, poor initial efforts have no place in a public forum, let alone a competition. It's not much fun wandering through somebody's ill-conceived, cobbled-together, inside-joke universe. In fact, playing Coming Home is a kind of Zen torture, an experiment in just how unpleasant interactive fiction can possibly be. Perhaps it's what IF is like in Hell.
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This game seems like it was written quickly, not beta tested, and by someone with not much inform experience at the time.
It is riddled with bugs and spotty implementation. (Spoiler - click to show)You can open a door if you are holding crowbar by typing OPEN DOOR, but not PRY DOOR or OPEN DOOR WITH CROWBAR. Exits don't match up. Doors don't open by themselves.
The writing is sparse and thin.
There is no real emotional connection to the game. Perhaps if it was better implemented, a lower class white life and its issues could take the stage.
The puzzles are not hinted at all. Sensible commands are frequently try ignored.
This game placed last or close to last in 1997's IFComp. Games like these lead to later movements for more beta testing.
"My apartment" games by MathBrush
It's a trope in interactive fiction that first time author's tend to model their own home or apartment in detail as an experiment in programming. To see if this trope is true, I've created a list of 'my apartment' games. Because in most...