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About the Story
You are going to find the Robopope and then kiss its papal ring, or your name isnít Morgen Santamore.
Commended - ShuffleComp 2014
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Number of Reviews: 2
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HOLY ROBOT EMPIRE is a short and easy puzzler built around the premise that robots have become dominant over humans, not just technologically but spiritually as well. The new theology is based on a robotic comprehension of the universe, which they will sometimes deign to communicate to humans. Your protagonist's goal is to kiss the ring of the Robot Pope, though as there are a lot of other humans who want to do the same, you'll need to solve some puzzles in order to get close enough.
This premise feels silly and is mostly handled in an amusing way, but there are a few darker or more serious moments: a musing on the nature of faith towards the end, the relics one finds of human religion, the suggestions of an Inquisition, and the treatment of some of the human NPCs. These give the worldbuilding a little more heft than it might initially appear to have.
The puzzles, meanwhile, are on the lighter side in terms of difficulty. They mostly involve finding objects to fit spaces or locks, but there are a couple of nice twists in which the player may find her expectations inverted. Solidly implemented and fairly clued.
Though HRE is a Shufflecomp game, built using song suggestions submitted by other members of the IF community, it does not require any familiarity with those songs to play.
The main puzzle behind this game drove me crazy for the main reason that it is not something that people would do ordinarily; that is to say, (Spoiler - click to show)giving the hermit back a key to get your dollar back after you've broken it and repaired it with glue. Also, the idea of buying a clarinet, using it, then returning it to get your stupid dollar back is awful. I don't know what country this author lives in, but this is not civilized behavior.
The descriptions in this game, at least in the beginning few rooms, are dreadful. For example, "Above your head tower obtuse angles of gray-shining metal, each segment tilted a different way and so bearing a differing depth of shadow. Higher still a riot of white sunlight twinkles on geometrical patterns of rivets, and beyond, the ceiling is hidden in a glowing haze... presumably." I can't begin to describe the sheer awfulness of this prose so I won't.
Also, there's no back story as to what this Holy Robot Empire is or why you want to kiss the Pope's ring. Just go with it.
All of these criticisms aside, the game has few bugs and WTF moments. It's short but irritating.
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