The Tale of the Kissing Bandit

by J. Robinson Wheeler profile


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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
A labor of love that anyone can enjoy, March 1, 2008

Mr. Wheeler seems to be a man of extremes. His works, which are often submitted under a pseudonym, have scored both low and high in various competitions, and they include 'Being Andrew Plotkin', aka 'BAP'. While 'BAP' is an in-joke laden spoof that is most popular among the authors and IFMUDders at the core of the modern IF community, 'The Tale of the Kissing Bandit' is at the other end of the accessibility extreme -- a complete novice to IF should have no trouble playing this story through to the end while appreciating every word along the way.

The game was apparently written for a target audience of one (Wheeler's significant other), and anyone who's tried their hand at writing IF can sense the Herculean lengths the author went through to ensure a smooth playing experience. You won't be "guessing the verb" in this one... indeed, I suspect the game could teach you a few synonyms if you inspected the source code.

Some might say that this game is 'for girls', but this should not be an issue for anyone who's gotten past the 'girls are icky' stage of growing up. Though the final ending is perhaps a bit too personal to satisfy everyone, the story leading up to it is like a good G-rated movie: fun for the whole family. It is cute, original, and violence-free, and the player character is so memorable that it's easy to see why it won the 2001 XYZZY award for Best Individual PC.

'The Tale of the Kissing Bandit' should be a fun diversion for any player who wants a light-hearted break from their busy day, and an instructive example for any author who wants to see the impact of a gold-standard grammar implementation on playability. Take the time to try it out; you won't regret it.