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No Romulans This Time
"The Enterprise Incidents" is a game about middle school, by Brendan Desilets. Since Mr. Desilets is known for using interactive fiction in his classroom, I assumed when firing up the game that this one would be intended as introductory IF for a middle-school audience; and indeed that is more or less what I got. Though it calls itself a fantasy, it's pretty much slice-of-life stuff, the only fantastic element being the relative mildness of the characters involved. Middle school as I remember it was considerably more raw than this. — Emily Short
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This is a short story about delivering candy grams to all of the classes In the school. The adventure is different from most adventures, designed not with a gripping plot, or suspenseful, or difficult, but designed to ease beginners into interactive fiction.
( side note: I was impressed at how non-linear the story was, letting you go in any order you wished)
There were two things though which could have been slightly better.
Firstly, the so-called puzzles were just word problems which had to be solved, and actually I thought that was a cool idea, but those were the only puzzles (except finding who to give the cards to but these are hardly puzzles) I thought that the riddles were ingenious, one relating largely to interactive fiction, but as I said interactive fiction needs puzzles which involve the use of examining objects and using them to their full potential.
The story includes a small middle school romance (oh those days) but all in all the story is relatively plotless and non-descript. This I feel is almost too bad. Sure,it's for beginners, but plot and characters are really what interactive fiction is all about, so it would have been nice to expose the players to a decent plot.
All in all though, it was enjoyable and a good example of interactive fiction originality.
This one of the first pieces of IF that I have read/played. I played through it as a preview before sharing it with my middle school students. For me, this is a good follow up to '9:05' by Adam Cadre in presenting IF to students. There is a clear mission presented (delivering candygrams to students on a list), some puzzles along the way, and opportunities to be kind to others. The built-in map makes navigation a breeze. For me, the game took about 30 minutes to complete. A caveat if using this with students: in the story a student misreads 'tentacles' as 'testicles.'
Edit: To be clear, in my opinion this IF is not only for beginners, but the audience is teens. For a beginning teen, I give it 5 stars. If you're not part of this audience, it might not be for you; more like a 3 of 5 stars.
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