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word of the day.gblorb
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Word of the Day

by Richard Otter profile

Science Fiction
2017

Web Site

(based on 14 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

You are the very first Outer Worlder to gain an appointment on a Bio-Drive vessel, let alone as part of the engineering team. Working hard to gain enough credits to secure your future could this be your first and last journey?


Game Details


Awards

Nominee - Kareene Veet, Best Individual PC - 2017 XYZZY Awards

13th Place - 23rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2017)

Editorial Reviews

Delron
Review Compilation
This is an obsessively detailed parser-based sci-fi story that took me the full two hours to play, albeit not all in one sitting. The richness of the game’s background, character backstories, and the number of rooms and detailed objects in them more than makes up for however many stories I have criticized as under implemented in this IFcomp.

The amount of detail is at first overwhelming, but I am sure it is only a fraction of the world that this author has generated. I don’t doubt that in creating this game, the author generated extensive histories of each alien world and extensive character sketches for each character, but had to make some tough choices about how much of this material to hold back on in order to condense the story to two hours of playing time.
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Narrativium
IFComp 2017 Review: Word of the Day by Richard Otter
You don't need to poke and prod at the corners of the world model if you don't want to, the game can be played just fine as a puzzley exploration adventure with a protagonist just trying to get out of a bad situation, but if you choose to go further, you are rewarded with tons of extra content that fills out this universe, and especially fills out the personality of this remarkable player-character.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(8)
3 star:
(3)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 3
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Suberb backstory, out of focus result., October 30, 2017
by Marco Innocenti (Florence, Italy)

I actually woke up this morning, after playing WotD all night yesterday, finally grasping what was going on.

This is a well structured, almost puzzle-less sci-fi, with a brilliant PC and an incredibly detailed backstory, which could have aimed, imho, at a much higher outcome.

The most intriguing things revolve around racial (and racist) themes, told through the eyes of a special creature whose sole businesses in the universe seem to be procreation and money. And money because of procreation.
There are aspects of the subplot which are genius: the mating techniques of different races; how an Outworder sees us (provided the Inner Worlders are us); how racism can dwell in close environments; segregation.

Unfortunately, the story is presented through an endless array of posts and notes, and via the comments (on dead bodies) by a cold PC, who’s prime feature seems to be the lack of any empathy with anyone except her distant relatives and lovers. All of this sums up to a distinct vibe and a cool backstory that, in the end, fails in finding a route to the final outcome.
The atmosphere is strong (I was actually scared by the continuous opening and closing of doors, hinting at another survivor— the ship is full of dead bodies after an initial “incident”) although there is not much to do except reading tons of backstory. And this is first flaw of an otherwise impressive game.

Style apart (the text needs some more intense editing, due to the generative process it has to sustain), the fact that the main action you continuously do is reading notes or long flashbacks hinders the gameplay a bit. This sums up to the fact that navigation is hard due to a very symmetrical and squareish map (a map is provided and I would say it is fundamental for your survival).

But the main aspect — the thing that, eventually, lowered my experience most — is that, of all the important backstory told, the one which is central to the final twist (and there IS a final twist!) is overlooked enough that I simply forgot to notice. Saying more means spoiler, so I have nothing to add, if not that a much more “central” approach to something inside the ship would have done a better job in causing the final wow-effect.

Finally, the endgame, too, looks muddled and I failed to actually get what was happening in the ship until I woke up this morning with the proverbial epiphany.

To recap: I wish the main story was more “main” and the sub-plots (about race, gender, and the overall backstory) ended up being sub-plots and not the big finger in front of the moon. I wish I could understand more about the plot, something my “4-Good” ending didn’t convey (who was the one opening and closing the doors? I understood this after an 8-hours sleep, never having seen him during play!). I wish I could read less and do more, as a piece of Interactive Fiction should allow.

This said, I enjoyed this game a lot, and it frankly had me holding tight to the chair here and there, for some nice, perpetual sense of danger. A calm post-comp reset of the game is all it’s needed to put these few things straight.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A complicated hard sci-fi game with money system, November 16, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game kind of threw me off at first; I used the walkthrough, which seemed super unmotivated, and some large pieces of occasionally-awkward text made me not like it as much.

But then lglasser said she loved it on her twitch stream, as did an Italian IFComp judge, so I gave it another shot, walkthrough-free.

This time around, I liked it. All reasonable commands seemed to be accepted. The game allowed a great deal of flexible exploration and a money system that worked. Exploration was all that was needed to trigger the story, and the hint system was just strong enough to get me through and just vague enough to make it a challenge.

It seemed oddly fixated an alien mating systems, but it was more National Geographic than anything else.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Great sci-fi story , December 29, 2017
by Jim Turner (Ireland)

This game has an impressive back story. It did take longer than 2 hours, but I loved it. Also has several different graded endings.

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Word of the Day on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Word of the Day appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Forgotten Treasures of IFDB by MathBrush
These are games that are great, either in my opinion or in many others, but which have been forgotten. By forgotten, I mean it satisfies the following: 1. Not an IfComp or XYZZY Best Game winner, 2. Not in Best 50 Interactive Fiction...

Games where you fix a broken spaceship by MathBrush
A lot of games are about being in a broken spaceship and having to fix it. Here's a list! Some games don't really fit, or only have a few parts involving fixing a ship. I left a lot out where you woke up in a ship and then sabotaged it...

Polls

The following polls include votes for Word of the Day:

Sci-fi games with truly "alien" aliens by wwenches
I love "Cradle of Eve" by Kitty Horrorshow and I've been enjoying "Coloratura." I would love more sci-fi games (either standard IF or Twine games) that deal with truly alien creatures, rather than just going for standard humanoid aliens...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible individual PCs of 2017 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2017 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual PC in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination. Games not mentioned here will remain eligible. This is not an...

games with female protagonists by X.W

See all polls with votes for this game




This is version 18 of this page, edited by Richard Otter on 22 March 2023 at 7:18am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page