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About the Story
"In Chaos, you are "Captain Chaos". Well, actually, no, you're just an observer. Captain Chaos is an evil villain and builder of robots whose ship has just clipped a tree and is slowly headed for the ground. It's your job to help him fix his ship, land safely, and ensure the existence of a sequel." [--blurb from Competition '99]
19th Place - 5th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1999)
Seemingly meant to be an introduction to a longer game--Captain Chaos, villain, is on his way to conquer and enslave a planet--but memorable chiefly for its grammatical weirdness: the game flips back and forth between second and third person, and tries to maintain a distinction between "you" and the person (Captain Chaos) you're controlling. It's thoroughly confusing (partly because it's not as consistent as it might be), and it overshadows what's otherwise a reasonably solid, if not all that exciting, little game--the puzzles are fairly ho-hum. Worth a look if narrative-voice experiments excite you.
-- Duncan Stevens
>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
Orchestrated strategically and used creatively, these techniques could make for a masterful, groundbreaking work of IF. Chaos isn't that work, but its experimentation does open up some very interesting, and mostly unexplored, territory. Beside this, the plot of the game seems quite inconsequential. There's a ship to be repaired, and various puzzles to solve, some required and some optional. These puzzles are decent, and the writing is passable, and although there are a number of coding problems, the game is at least finishable. It's a bit of a throwaway, though, a mediocre competition entry except for the unique approach it takes, almost offhandedly, to forms of address in IF. I enjoyed thinking about Chaos more than I enjoyed playing it, but if the author's next game explores the techniques employed here in a consistent, systematic, and clear way, the result will be well worth a few false starts.
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You are a third-person observer in a ship as Captain Chaos, a relatively benign supervillain, is crashing to the earth.
The writing is good, and funny, but the game is super buggy, with events firing at the wrong time, repeating actions sending your score up over and over, and a whole slew of bad interfaced design problems and missing synonyms.
It's a shame, because the writing is so fun.