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by Harry M. Hardjono


(based on 6 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

"The author's first stab at interactive fiction. A very buggy game that consists mainly of obscure puzzles, with no story at all." [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details


31st Place - 3rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1997)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A tiny dumb escape-from-locked-room game, made very difficult by the author's poor command of English. Also lacks synonyms, and contains one puzzle that makes no sense whatsoever. The author actually admits in the docs that it hasn't really been tested.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction

The idea here is that you're trapped in the basement of a winery, abducted for no apparent reason by your new employers. You must use your wits and the objects about you to make your escape. However, the real truth is that you're trapped in a below-average interacive fiction game, which was entered in the contest for no apparent reason by its author. You must decipher vague prose, evade coding bugs, and defy logic to escape. Luckily, it doesn't take too much time as long as you have help. Bring your walkthrough! CASK helped its author learn Inform. Let's see that knowledge applied to the creation of a quality IF game.
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Spelling was passable, grammar clumsy, location and object descriptions minimal and the usual bits and pieces of scenery non-existent. After solving one of the last puzzles you are congratulated by the phrase "a big relief comes upon me", which was mildly amusing, but surpassed in entertainment-value by the horrendous programming glitch of putting a key inside a rat; and then it's only visible when you put the rat on a chair and type LOOK [...]
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Number of Reviews: 2
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
up and climb are two different words. I didn't have time to accomodate both, December 2, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

This is an actual note from the walkthrough. I'm glad he cared so much.

You are locked in a room by your employer for some reason. You must escape. All is fine except that everything is drastically underimplemted and buggy.

Here are just a few of the nightmares you'll find.
>cut drum with saw
Which do you mean, the hole in the drum, the drum cover or the big wooden drum?
>enter wooden drum
But you're already on the old wooden chair
(You need to enter the drum. The idea is get on the chair and type UP. Climb chair and enter drum do not work. :( )

>enter hole
You can't, since the hole in the drum is in the way

>x drum
Which do you mean, the hole in the drum, the drum cover or the big wooden drum?
What do you want to cover?

>pull wire
Nothing obvious happens.
>get wire
You reach for the wire, to no avail! The wire is too high!

Going beyond this:

You need to fix a machine with some wire. You need to turn ON the switch to disable power to the machine. (Oops- not turn OFF the switch?).

The game starts out reasonable but then gets worse, with keys hidden in rats (which print in the room description but not the item descripton, and apparantly you HAVE TO put the rat on a chair to discover this), and that horrible drum which DESPERATELY needs an instance of DOES THE PLAYER MEAN ENTERING THE BIG WOODEN DRUM: IT IS LIKELY.

The story is almost nonexistant, and upon freeing yourself from the wine cellar your employers have trapped you in for no reason you need to contend with a charging elephant. Yep.

This game is possible, but you better know the "official" verb usages for things, since synonyms are not used, and use the walkthrough. (It's nice that in the walkthrough he aknowledges known errors then says he doesn't feel like fixing them, hence the title of my review.)

Hopefully the next game would be better, but his next game already got some pretty bad reviews and low ratings, so I'm not too hopeful. This game could have been good- it just needed a little testing, and if he couldn't figure out how to solve known bugs, he might have wanted to AT LEAST have the game prompt you on the RIGHT way to do things... (or gone to the forum and asked someone).

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A somewhat buggy first game. Escape the room., May 7, 2016

This short game was the authors first game. They later went on to create Human Resource Stories, a multiple choice quizzes in Inform that was ahead of its time.

The author himself describes this game as buggy and unfinished. However, reading the other review on ifdb gave me fair warning about the worst problems, so it wasn't too bad, but it is hard to beat this game without a walkthrough due to reasonable commands not being recognized.

The setup is fairly clever, if short. Recommended for those who want to study first games.

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