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BYOD

by n-n profile

Slice of life
2020

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Reviews and Ratings

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(3)
3 star:
(11)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(1)
Average Rating:
Number of Ratings: 19
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1-19 of 19


- IFforL2 (Chiayi, Taiwan), December 7, 2020

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
High quality, small portions, December 6, 2020
by Mike Russo (Los Angeles)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2020
BYOD ain’t messing around with the “micro” label – I probably spent as much time playing guess-the-acronym as I did actually running through the game – but the five minutes here on offer are a lovely spike of cyberpunk power fantasy that makes me hope there’s a longer piece with similar mechanics somewhere in the future.

So this is a proper hacking game, doing in pure parser form what yer Uplinks and Hacknets have done with hybrid GUI interfaces. After reading the included e-zine feelie – I just noticed feelies have been rather thin on the ground this year, so it was nice to see a well-made one – I was primed for an intense gray-hat type of experience, but actually the plot and set-up are rather low key: you really are just a student starting a do-nothing internship at a tech company. It’s just that you happen to have a smartphone app that gives you all the power of the Internet gods, with the ability to remote-access any computer or device and read, write, or active it with no concern for security protocols.

The hacking is implemented really solidly, using a UNIX-like set of commands, and again contrary to my expectations, rather than the whole thing playing out at a terminal you actually play an embodied character and type commands in typical adventure-game fashion – you just preface your commands with a prefix to direct them to the hacking app. Being able to merge the two levels of play seamlessly is a clever touch that heads off the challenges most hacking games have in depicting anything happening in meatspace.

All this to say that the foundations here are solid and even a bit exciting. The story and puzzle(s) are pretty underdeveloped, though – there’s no real detail about who you are, why you got this internship, or how you managed to wrangle the killer app. Played straight, there’s only one character and one challenge – you meet the secretary at the front desk and print a sign out for her. If you go poking around where you shouldn’t, there’s a little more flavor and a bonus objective (Spoiler - click to show)(the company’s CEO is blackmailing the secretary with nude photos, which you can delete), which feels good to find and accomplish but is also likewise quite slight.

There are alternate endings, the writing is clean and typo-free, and everything works the way it’s supposed to, so it’s all solidly built. But I can’t help feeling like the work it took to build this hacking system was wildly disproportionate to the work it took to build out the scenario. I find it exhausting to play games that are too long for the amount of content they actually have; BYOD has the opposite problem. Always good to leave them wanting more, I suppose, but still: I want more!

Oh, and “Device” and “Drama” are my two best guesses as to the title – the latter because the story isn’t going to find you, you need to manufacture the interesting bit yourself.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A very short but entertaining IT adventure, December 6, 2020
by Denk
Related reviews: Inform
This game starts out when you arrive on your first day as an IT intern at McKenzie & Lloyds. The game is quite original. I would spoil it if I say much more. I managed to find two different endings. Not sure if there are more, but I don't think so.

In the time of writing, there is a sort of "bug" if I play the included zblorb-file with Windows Frotz: When the game begins there is a quote. You then press a key to continue but then the first three sentences of the introduction are not displayed. However, all I had to do was to start the online version, read the first three lines there and then continue playing using Frotz. Thus it did not affect my rating. (EDIT: later I have found this to happen with other games too when using Windows Frotz. I have switched to Lectrote, which doesn't seem to have that problem)

Also, the online version has a very cool presentation: An apparent DOS-screen where you can click on seven different files, with some related but not required information and a nice demo in the style of old commodore 64/Amiga demos.

The puzzles and game mechanics are fine. This game is quite short, but enjoyable as long as it lasts. If you don't mind short games, I can recommend this one.

PS: A note on my ratings: (Spoiler - click to show)On IFDB I rate games by how much I enjoy them, not for how long I am enjoying them. Thus short games can get 5 stars if I am highly entertained as long as it lasts. This is in contrast to how I rate games in IFComp, where the longer games get higher ratings if I am equally entertained (based on the two first hours).

- Karl Ove Hufthammer (Bergen, Norway), December 4, 2020

- necromancer, December 4, 2020

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Short and cool hacking game, December 2, 2020
by Stian
Related reviews: ifcomp 2020
BYOD is a very short parser game, with an estimated playthrough of about 10 minutes, but it packs a lot of coolness into that time. Coming complete with an .nfo and an e-zine, this game puts you in the shoes of a humble hacker and lets you save the day. The feelies are fantastic, the hacking is elegant, and the implementation is flawless. Great stuff!

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Excellent atmosphere, shallow experience, December 1, 2020
Gameplay in BYOD is not so much a limited parser as it is an alternative parser. Although standard commands are present for exploring your character's physical environment, the main action takes place through your smartphone's custom VFS software. The VFS commands were easy to understand and I correctly followed the author's trail of clues to reach the "good" ending.

The virtual feelies that accompany this entry include newsletters and supplemental information formatted to look like Usenet discussions and GameFAQs walkthroughs. I don't know enough to judge whether these are accurate representations of hacker culture, but they certainly evoke the 1990's mood of a group that I was never cool enough to join in real life.

The outstanding presentation details support a shallow narrative that needed more development. In this entry, corporate stereotypes tell a brief story about the abuse of power. When BYOD ended, my character had accomplished very little.

(Spoiler - click to show)The powerful CEO retained his job, perpetuating an industry described as the root of all evil. The secretary was momentarily protected, but what happens in the future? (And what happens to other employees who catch the CEO's eye?)

BYOD offers a tight, carefully defined experience that let me feel like a hacker. I wish it had put a similar amount of effort into telling an engaging story.

- Spike, November 30, 2020

- Sobol (Russia), November 18, 2020

- jakomo, November 5, 2020

- jvg, November 5, 2020

- Zape, November 3, 2020

- Mr. Patient (Saint Paul, Minn.), November 1, 2020

- Xavid, October 21, 2020

- TheAncientOne, October 5, 2020

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A small one-room game centered around a cool tech interface, October 5, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes
I tested this game. When I tested it, it didn’t have its flashy index page, which I thought was pretty cool, especially the worldbuilding elements and the cool animation. I had trouble at first though because I thought it was text-entry and not links.

The game itself is small and simple, a one-room game. The main feature here is that you have an app on your cell-phone that lets you connect to items by their ID and manipulate them through reading and writing. There are multiple endings, one normal and one which lets you be a hero.

There are a few niceties missing here and there (you’re told that everyone is working, looking at their screens, but can’t X SCREEN) but given that I was a tester I can’t really complain, can I?

If you like this game, you should try Michael Roberts’ immense game Return to Ditch Day which includes a lot of testing ports and running cable to access devices. Other games for gadget/tech people/fans of oldschool interfaces include Rover’s Day Out and Final Exam.

+Polish. The cool file system makes up for the implementation.
-Descriptiveness. The game is pretty sparsely written, and most objects described are generic.
+Interactivity. Great system!
+Emotional impact. Mostly wonder for the phone access.
-Would I play again? Doesn't have a ton of replay value, but that's okay.

- Durafen, October 5, 2020

- Edo, October 4, 2020

- Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy), October 3, 2020


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