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Story File
Release 2
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Story File
Release 1 (mini-comp version)
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.

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by Peregrine Wade profile


(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Office life could be easy, if there weren't a duck staring at you.

Game Details


Winner - Tent Annual New Year's Minicomp


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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Heartfelt tribute misses the mark, January 26, 2017

The idea of a text game inspired by the world of Gary Larson is intriguing. It sounds silly, but this is really a very ambitious mark for a writer to set themselves: anthropomorphic animals acting out pulp genre tropes, wordplay, and morbid exaggerations of cliches have to be patched together into a surreal narrative that still feels coherent. The author would have to mimic the diction of a multitude of hacky narrative styles, describe objectively troubling scenarios in a comical style, and solve the deeper problem of how to translate Larson's signature interaction between graphical and textual humor into an interplay between text and choice.

ANATIDAEPHOBIA, while fun in its own way, does not realize the potential of that premise. The humor is based not on clever pastiche and morbid juxtaposition, but on zany randomness. The motivations and behavior of the various entities the player encounters don't feel like familiar materials transplanted into a goofy setting (as they would in a Larson comic). They're just goofy. The items, too, are merely incongruous, not inventive extensions of ideas or wordplay.

The style of the text often gestures toward pastiche, but does not have convincing control of the diction of the styles it's mocking.

Aside from those stylistic issues, there are some typographical errors and at least one game-breaking bug ((Spoiler - click to show)a certain path through the conversation with the cow traps the game in CYOA mode). Most of the puzzles are quite unforgiving about exact word choice, which is of course a common parser game frustration, but in this case it is exacerbated by the off-the-wall nature of the puzzles and solutions.

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The following polls include votes for ANATIDAEPHOBIA:

Trying to find a good comedy. by H. W. Wiliams
I'm hoping to find a good comedy IF title. I've been away for a while and want a good laugh before I head back to work. Any suggestions?

This is version 7 of this page, edited by JTN on 10 February 2024 at 12:40am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page