9:05

by Adam Cadre profile

Slice of life
2000

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Number of Reviews: 52
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Quicky with a replay, June 27, 2022

A quick little game (Spoiler - click to show), with nudge to replay after the ending.

Because of my play style of b-lining to the end (Spoiler - click to show)on first play and this leaned into that for a twist:clap:


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A big step forward, February 18, 2022
by cgasquid (west of house)

first, we need to look at 9:05 from the perspective of when it was created. certainly, there had been stories that concealed crucial facts from the player as a part of their structure, ranging from the clever (Photopia) to the merely frustrating (The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy). but the standard expectation of the time was that you could trust what the parser told you implicitly and assume you knew everything you needed to about the protagonist (most often there simply not being anything worth knowing).

a game like 9:05 challenges these impressions. the parser and protagonist are (Spoiler - click to show)telling a lie of omission. this is, obviously, a Generic Protagonist just going through the dreary opening moves of a typical slice-of-life game. (Spoiler - click to show)no, it isn't. you're not the Generic Protagonist, you're the person who robbed and murdered them.

9:05 is a very brief game that only rewards a handful of playthroughs before being completely explored. but those playthroughs have something very important to say about the nature of IF.

while i wouldn't exactly call a game that can be finished in three minutes and completely exhausted in ten a masterpiece, this is definitely an important work that signposted some of the narrative techniques used in many later games.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A humorous short game with multiple endings, February 6, 2022
by Cody Gaisser (Florence, Alabama, United States of America, North America, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, Known Universe, ???)

9:05 is a game with a deceptively simple premise: You're asleep. The phone rings, waking you up. It's time to get cleaned up and go, and fast.

A single play-through is very short, so it's a breeze to reach the game's multiple endings (there are at least four).

There are some rough edges (the parser responds oddly sometimes when it doesn't understand the player's commands), but these issues didn't get in the way of my good time.

9:05 is well-written, with some amusing twists. Start the game with realistic expectations - it's not some masterpiece of literature, it's a funny little text game. By those standards, I consider it well worth playing a few times to see what it has to offer.


1 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Unsatisfied, November 19, 2021

I don't get why this game gets such high ratings.

First play: Figure out the twist... it's a trick. There's information you as the player don't have, but if you really were the protagonist you would know this! Is there an explanation for why you don't know this? Does the PC have amnesia or something? Nope. Not that I know of. This doesn't feel like an "awesome" twist to me. It just feels like the author is cheating.

Second play: Immediately beat the game. Wait, that was it? So unsatisfying.

Third play: Scan some walkthroughs first because there must be more to this highly rated game, right? Not much more... yeah, there are some clues that you *could* have found the first time, but nothing that justifies the rating this game gets.

If I hadn't seen so many positive reviews, I probably wouldn't have minded so much... but the fall from those high expectations was rough!


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Quick, fun, and surprising!, October 10, 2021
by Wynter (London, UK)

A short game about getting up in the morning and going to work, but with a twist ending. Plays with your expectations - there are some assumptions you make when you play a parser-based game, and it didn't really occur to me to question them here. Ironically enough, (Spoiler - click to show)when I got to the bit where you leave the house without locking it, I wondered if someone might break in when I was out at work.

If I hadn't been in such as hurry to get to work, I might have done what I normally do in parser games and (Spoiler - click to show)examine everything - in particular, to look under things and behind things. Of course, I did that on the replay.

One bit left me trying to guess a verb: (Spoiler - click to show)"get in cubicle" did the trick.

If I had to give someone a short game to play in order to teach them how to play a parser game, it'd probably be this.


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A clever idea in text adventure form, July 26, 2021
by dvs

My nephew and I were amused by this bare-bones vignette in which every turn another minute passes and we're already late and the phone is ringing and ...

We enjoyed the ambiguity of the game and we kept trying to guess the genre. Is it a puzzle to finish the tasks before the time runs out? A Groundhog Day game? A pointed criticism of the banality of corporate cubicle lifetyle? Clearly something was going to happen at some point.

In the end it was amusing but we were annoyed by the sharp edges of the railroaded short story format. Neither of us felt the ends justified the journey, even on a few replays.


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A comment on reading conventions, March 24, 2021

This is a one-trick game which makes an insightful comment on the conventions which the player uses to interact with the game.

The twist got me, and made me laugh. It's more or less fair, though, as I saw on the second playthrough.

It reminds me of an Orson Scott Card essay on how to read science fiction: the experienced science-fiction reader is looking for the world-building clues in the story as they read, and constructing the world rules, how it works, in their head from the clues dropped in the text. A reader not used to science fiction can get lost, as did some of the students in his course.

The same approach happens when we play an interactive fiction game. There is a process of exploration to figure out the world model. There are also certain conventions, or shorthands -- as there are in science fiction -- where the writer can import a lot of assumptions at once, from previous gameplay (like previous SF), without spelling it all out.

(Spoiler - click to show)9:05 plays a trick with those assumptions.

This also engages with the discussions by many IF luminaries about the coercive nature of game design, where the player is given the illusion of choice but the author is actually restricting the player's options to the preselected ones. This is particularly apparent in second-person media like most IF. In fact, to avoid player frustration, it is standard design advice now to use the text to hint the player in the "correct" direction, and the player usually follows it. Of course, the author can also mislead the player. (Spoiler - click to show)And very elegantly, 9:05 does.


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Was too confusing as a kid - I really like it now though!, December 22, 2020
by inte (USA)

I first played this as a child, years and years ago. It was too confusing for me. I couldn't figure out what to do, how to interact with the objects, where to go. I just kept getting errors.

I came back to it, and now find it very enjoyable!


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fun little game to get you acclimated to IF, September 29, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 15 minutes

This game only takes 10-15 to playthrough once, and I recommend you play through it multiple times. It is useful in getting a new player acclimated to the mechanics of IF, including the frustrating parts like being told you can't do something because of a minor detail you forgot (Spoiler - click to show) like having to specify to take your watch off before getting in the shower.

My first playthrough was over unexpectedly and anticlimactically, but I got to have some fun on subsequent playthroughs. After playing it by yourself a couple times I recommend reading a walkthrough to learn all its secrets. This will help give you an idea of what to look for in future parser-based IF games you might play.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
9:05: an anWinnable State review, May 9, 2020
by unWinnable State (unWinnableState.com)
Related reviews: unWinnable State, Parser, The List!

Adam Cadreís 9:05s most notable quality is its shortness. If it were much longer players may be unwilling to engage in what makes this work so fascinating, the fact that a replay of the game is thoroughly satisfying. When following the game through its logical progressions you reach an ending that re-contextualizes everything, enticing you to start again and interact with the world in a different way.

There is not much more to say about such a short game. If you havenít yet played 9:05 by Adam Cadre, give it a go. It will surprise you.

You can find the SPOILER-Y portion of unWinnable States review of 9:05 here.



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