Number of Reviews: 5
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A complex parser game about trying to shave your chest hair, October 14, 2020
Joey Acrimonious has been posting great reviews of other games so I was interested in seeing how this one plays out.
This is an enormously ambitious and complicated game. I thought it would be a relatively mild real-world game, but it includes a ton of worldbuilding and even two different protagonists!
Your goal is to shave some chest hair before a date. There are many things to try, almost all of them ending badly.
Your house is absolutely full of stuff. Stuff in the bathroom, stuff in the bedroom, stuff in the closet, stuff in drawers.
So all of this has the hallmarks of a first (or early) game by a talented author: it models an apartment, has lots of extra things, and has a lot of implementation into tricky things while neglecting a few of the smaller things.
What are the smaller things? Well, the game mentions that you can see the exits by LOOKing, but some rooms have no exits listed at all (like the bathroom as Marigold). Room names are all lowercase, which is a common mistake in Inform (you have to capitalize them the first time they appear in the code, wherever that is). When you use the special device, it doesn't indicate a change in location (by LOOKing), which may be intentional but is kind of confusing.
The game indicates several beta testers, and it is more polished than many games in the comp, but I think that having some more people beta test next year that have comp experience could help, and of course the feedback from this year will be very helpful. This game is well-written, funny, complex, and generally polished; but there are some things that I think would be better left off the next game, especially the large groups of unnecessary but well-implemented items. I definitely think there should be a next game, as I would expect this author to be capable of coming up with several interesting stories and some very fun game mechanics, if this game is any indication.
-Polish: The game could use some touchup for sure.
+Descriptiveness: It can be confusing at times, but this game is definitely descriptive.
-Interactivity: I often felt at a loss what to do, and beat my head on the wall a lot as I got lost moving around (probably because the device mechanic didn't make sense to me early on).
+Emotional impact: I definitely experience a lot of interesting feelings while playing this game.
-Would I play again? Not until there were an update.