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Number of Reviews: 3
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This game is clearly meant to be the introduction of a larger game. However, there is no "Housekey, Part 2", and Part 1 contains nothing to make it worth playing. You are instructed from the beginning that you left your key outside and need to retrieve it. However, there is no barrier to getting outside, so the game can be ended almost immediately. Additionally, there are only three rooms in the house, and most of the objects in the rooms are indicated as "unimportant". The game feels like someone's first IF programming experiment. Although it is able to be finished, the under-implementation of the game leaves it unrecommended.
Technically, Housekey, Part I is not an incomplete game, but it is certainly one in spirit. It's a skerrick of a my apartment game which has three locations and no housekey. The PC has left this item outside and is theoretically trapped in the very house in which they live. How ironic!
The house contains a handful of unsurprising and useless items which are consistently described as being beneath the PC's attention. Should it occur to you to try and leave your house via the front door in the manner of a normal person, an event of great unexpectedness will send you hurtling towards the non-existent Housekey, Part II, your mind racing with questions like, "Where did I put my housekey?" and "What?!"
It's true that this game is spartan and that default responses will greet most of your actions, but as I've played some truly bad games lately, I find the whisper of a plot and the lack of dying in six turns refreshing.
Housekey, Part I features three rooms of minimal implementation. Most items can be examined (the table, the bed, the rubbish), and the plot is linear and hand-holding. If you follow the game's clues, you can get the house key and get out in less than ten turns. The ending is quite the cliffhanger, which makes you wonder why there was no part 2. Part 2 was definitely planned, so what happened?
That said, there are some oddities. First, the title. At least in American English, house key is two words. The note is (Spoiler - click to show)in some language that I didn't recognize (German? Swiss?). The score and turn counters are combined, which is initially deceptive.
Is it worth playing? There's not enough there to justify the effort, but it's not bad.
Housekey, Part I on IFDB
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This is version 1 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 21 March 2008 at 8:07pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item