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Windows / DOS version *
Available from the author's itch.​io page
Defaults - All Systems Application
frust.zip *
Contains FRUST.GAM
Requires a TADS interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
Amiga Application
* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.

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by Jim MacBrayne


Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Chasing after a wayward shopping list given to you by your Aunt Maud, you accidentally plummet down an open manhole. What adventures await you at the other end? [blurb from The (Other) TADS Games List version 1.2]

Originally published as a HiSoft BASIC game for Commodore Amiga in 1992.

The TADS port dates from 1995.

In 2020, the original author produced a new version for Windows PC using QBASIC64.

Game Details

Editorial Reviews

The game is one which you will certainly not finish quickly and it will give the old grey matter a lot to puzzle over. My verdict? A really good game that you should have in your collection. Get it now!
-- Peter Clark
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Frustration is spread over a large area geographically, about 180 locations at a rough count. The total score is 350 points, which are awarded for certain rooms reached and puzzles solved, and not for finding valuables. This is decidedly *not* a treasure hunt type of game, nor is there any fighting to do; although three characters in the game have to be dealt with before they allow you to continue on your travels. But in all cases violence is not the answer, and Frustration is definitely a more cerebral type of adventure.
-- Bev Truter
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The Jim MacBrayne games
[...] the plot is all but irrelevant to these games; the objective amounts to object- collecting. (True, in Frustration, the idea is to pull together items on your shopping list--but it doesn't really change the game significantly, since you don't find the relevant items in places you're looking for them, unless you look for honey by climbing trees in deserts.)
-- Duncan Stevens
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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Very big, expansive game designed to be played a long time, January 24, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

This game is a classic in the style of the period between Infocom and Inform. Those few years in the 90s saw the rise of several gigantic indie games, often with obtuse puzzles and nonsensical, Zork-like landscapes. The Unnkulia games were the most popular I know from then, with lots of silly Acme products.

This game seems influenced by the same era, with a lot of ACME products.

You are getting a shopping list for your aunt when you fall down a big hole. There you find a complex web of locations and buildings and teleporters that take you all around a house, a village, and the world.

This is the kind of game that's designed to be played on and off for months, possibly working together with others online and not necessarily designed to actually be solved. Often times the solution to a puzzle is something found far away in a different room.

There are many teleportation devices in the game, including one powered by geometric objects, another with different button presses, and another in the form of a wand. A lot of puzzles are coded messages, as well.

I played this game to clear it off my wishlist as one of the longest-running games on that list, but was surprised to see that this author is the same Jim MacBrayne that has recently released games in IFComp and Parsercomp. Those games are written with a Basic engine (and I think there is a version of this game that does that too), and they have very similar features to this game, including giant maps with many rooms called 'corridor' or 'path', and puzzles involving color-coded combinations and obtuse messages that must be interpreted correctly to pass.

I know several people have greatly enjoyed these recent games from Jim MacBrayne; if you're one of them, this older game has a lot of the same flavor, just longer and more difficult.

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Frustration on IFDB


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