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Winner, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2003 XYZZY Awards
Adventures wide shut
Like Adam's other works, Narcolepsy features entertaining prose and a wry take on modern culture. It has multiple plot paths, branches, and endings. It has a large collection of inserted dream sequences written by other IF authors, and many of them are creepy, funny, or visionary in their own right. On the other hand, pacing problems detract somewhat from its impact, and the stories it told had less substance than I might have liked.
-- Emily Short
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Narcolepsy is my favorite IF game. And that's because it is, in a way, the ultimate game. It's not that I think you can't do any better, I just don't believe that anyone can make something substantially different with the current development tools. Adam (with the help of his collaborators) has not pushed the limits any further on this one, he just has reached them.
-- Jose Manuel Garcia-Patos
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
Great writing, great dialogue, great scenes, and some of the most gratingly awful game design I've ever encountered. The idea is to happen across a story by wandering around: the reality is an empty shell where nothing happens until you've done a full circuit of the map to pick up the next thread. Writing smooth, fluid interactive scenes is so time-consumingly difficult that it's almost painful to find a game just a few steps of being fantastic.
This review has some early spoilers and spoils one big concept; however, it let's you know how to avoid any explicit content
(Spoiler - click to show)
Narcolepsy has a great concept; the main character has narcolepsy, and every time they fall asleep, they enter a different, randomly chosen dream, each written by a different IF author.
Even better, this is actually three different games, and which game you play is governed by your first few actions.
Unfortunately, some branches have pretty explicit and unpleasant content.
One branch involves a klutz spy agency. This branch was my least favorite, requiring a lot of wandering around. Also, it has a running joke where you got port spam emails which are just as explicit and gross as real life ones blocked by filters. I stopped playing twice because I was disgusted; but I'm glad I tried the other branches.
Branch 2 involves your sister a lot. I loved this branch, and it was one of the funnest games I've played in a while. Also, it had very little adult content.
The third involves holes, and this one was pretty funny, with some old school game references. Part of it takes place in a strip club, though, but it's not very explicit.
I can strongly recommend the middle branch, obtained by answering the phone first.
I'm a big fan of Adam Cadre's work, and Narcolepsy is one of my favorites. The game is advanced basically by just wandering around - it's not really puzzle intensive; for the most part you just explore and immerse yourself in the weirdness. Luckily, the weirdness is everywhere, the writing is top notch, and I found myself laughing delightedly and looking for ever more "unusual responses" from things to try - not in order to solve a puzzle, but just in order to get more of the flavor of the story.
It unfortunately gets a bit weirder and less immersive and more chaotic in the later mid-game and end-game, but it's still a pretty smooth ride home and a lot of fun. Highly recommended.
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