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The Minutely Detailed Simulation of the Plant Life Was Remarkable, May 26, 2011
The game is almost entirely menu-driven and the writing is just as slap-dash as it needs to be (minus the encyclopedic excerpts, of course), but is so deceptively witty and self-aware I couldn't help but enjoy myself, albeit with a wry half-smile and a raised eyebrow for the duration. I even willingly undid a direct choice advancing the plot in order to undertake an eight-step chain with an obvious "payoff" merely consisting of exhausting one repetitive dialogue option until I was left with the one I'd chosen initially. The gag is essentially identically to the "and thennn?" gag from Dude, Where's My Car?
Most of the game consists of attempting to fast-talk your way out of being brutalized by a gorilla in a business suit, and one of my favorite elements is the way suggestive menu options play out in the resulting paragraphs of exposition or dialogue. You're faced with options such as, "Yeah, a gorilla with rocket launcher hands. That *is* odd. Please tell me your story" (and in context, you can seriously expect a reasoned response), and "I should probably tell you about the plant!" which works partly because it's been woven into the story but mainly because the Speed-IF event the game was written for randomly assigned a number of fake book-jacket blurbs to an author, who then had to make a story incorporating all those elements; in this case, it was David Fletcher's comment, "The minutely detailed simulation of the plant life was remarkable, if somewhat overwhelming." True, and true.
"The man-eating, halitosic gorilla of Brazil" may not be everyone's cup of coca-water, but it made me happy and silly for 10 or 15 minutes, and I appreciate that.
(It might be easy to overlook the introductory text, but the instructions are crucial to navigating one's way to the non-death ending. Yes, you will probably be torn limb-from-limb with a certain frequency until, of course, you survive the chariot race.)