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About the Story
Be Jon Doe, secret agent at MI5, and solve the mystery about the death of scientist Monsieur Edulard and his latest world-changing invention. A story with thrilling women, sinister villains and cutting-edge tech gimmicks. Be a hero, save the world, get the girl!
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Current Version: 1.00
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
51st Place - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
"You might be interested in this game if: You like Bond parodies but want one that isn’t a slapstick farce."
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Jon Doe - Wildcard Nucleus is a British spy/detective story in the James Bond mode, involving murder, nuclear energy, retro computing technology, and slightly problematic gender relations. The writing isn’t quite good enough for me to be entirely sold on the setting and atmosphere. The first character we meet being named Miss Bestbeforedates isn’t a promising start, for example, and there are descriptions that make no sense (there’s a character who must be in his late fifties “according to the cut of his suit and the pattern on his tie” - I didn’t know tie patterns were quite that specific), but it has heart. A rather formidable vocabulary is sometimes in evidence: I came across alopecia and pomadised.
It’s quite playable, with many minor parser snags but nothing that causes excessive difficulty. A rather annoying one appears in a scene that’s otherwise quite fun, when you’re working with a certain model of computer that played a role in the history of IF, and you have to explicitly say TYPE X ON COMPUTER for every command. Even Dunnet did better than that.
There are a few good puzzles. I found at least one that probably should have been hinted better, but there are a couple of satisfying moments when you get good results from a course of action that would be unlikely in real life, but seem natural in the game. However, the puzzle and story end up being a little thin for the game’s length, with a few too many turns spent driving back and forth between several locations in your Jaguar.
On the whole, despite some problems, this was playable and fun, and a good addition to the comp.
Jon Doe - Wildcard Nucleus clearly alludes to the classic James Bond stories, most notably in its opening scene, but generally lacks the humour to be characterised as a good parody. In fact, the absence of humour throughout the game becomes rather noticeable after introducing two silly names in the beginning: Miss Bestbeforedate and Adolf von Bolzplatz (Adolf of the football field). I do get the feeling that the game was intended to be essentially parodic and funny, but that this focus was lost during production.
While the descriptions generally are good and paints a decently vivid picture of retro-modernity, some of the language bears the mark of a rudimentary translation. This, along with several bugs and the fact that little of the described scenery is implemented, made Jon Doe a somewhat disappointing experience. The puzzles are also few and not that interesting – and I still got stuck twice. However, I would probably not have been equally disappointed if it weren’t for the promising premise and the intriguing blurb. Jon Doe has a lot of potential, but requires more work to fulfill it.
This is a little straightforward story-driven parser game. You play the role of Jon Doe, probably the best MI5 agent. You are given an assignment: Investigate the death of an informant employed at a tech company. There are puzzles but they are mostly easy. The game takes place in small areas, which you never return to, so you don't really need to make a map.
I found the writing to be good and sufficient for this kind of game. The implementation was usually good, though a few places, there could have been more responses to the things you can try, especially conversation. However, I managed to complete the game without hints, so it never became a big issue. Overall, I found this to be a very good game.
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