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Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 1930
27th Place - 8th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2002)
As the psychiatrist Mikalina Efros, you are entrusted with the search for your patient, Samuel Gregors, who disappeared along with a set of secret plans. In addition to an interesting gimmick, the game features a rather well-developed setting (it seems the author had got a pretty clear picture of the game world in his mind when he was working on it), and some nice bits of characterization in descriptions. Unfortunately, the work haven't been completed properly; while the story requires a lot interaction with NPCs, the latter aren't always adequate (for instance, there's a teller who, according to the game, is inanimate). Also, "The Case of Samuel Gregors" is a pretty good illustration for the fact that a sloppily implemented menu-based conversation system isn't any better than a shoddily implemented traditional "ask about/tell about" system. You might find some of the puzzles a bit obscure, especially in the beginning phase of the game; later on, the gameplay becomes more directed - to a no small degree because of the gimmick mentioned above. All in all, this work isn't flawless, and it's probably not to everyone's taste, either; still, you should give it a try - it has certain charm, and there is a reasonable chance you're going to like it.
-- Valentine Kopteltsev
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
TCOSG calls itself "An Existential Adventure" and throws in a Kafka quote at the end, but I have to say I didn't see the existentialism in it... It certainly brings forth a certain meaninglessness, but not in a good way. It does seem to attempt to take us into the subjective world of one individual, but the execution is so muddled and confusing that instead of inhabiting a point-of-view, I ended up on the outside of both the fiction and the interactivity, poking the game as if it were an anthill...
In fact, between its writing, its coding, and its puzzles, the experience of playing this game is less existential than it is absurd. Absurdist IF can be great if it's done intentionally. That's not what happened here.
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This game has you take on the role of an early psychologist in the time of horses and carriages. You have an unusual patient who has disappeared, and you must use your knowledge of them to find them.
The game has a compelling idea, especially when a major shift happens midway through. But there is little guidance, meagre descriptions, and a general sense of incompleteness.