Inside the Facility

by Arthur DiBianca profile


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Number of Reviews: 9
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1-9 of 9

Sci-fi research facility, May 18, 2022

This is largely a treasure hunt style game where you must determine where to take your current item, though there are also more complicated puzzles. It takes place in a sci-fi research facility with teleportation rooms and invisibility labs and amusing NPCs.

My only complaint is that the navigation starts to get tedious after a while as the map keeps getting larger. My ideas for dealing with this would be: include a "go to" command; include a graphical interactive map in the game; use a smaller map and reuse the rooms more.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Limited commands make you think outside the box, December 16, 2021

The only commands in this game are moving, looking at the room description, checking your inventory, and waiting. The fact that you can't inspect things more closely or take objects that seem useful can be frustrating when you're used to having more control, but it's somehow funny to passively infiltrate this facility by simply wandering around. I definitely recommend making yourself a map-- something I pretty much never do, but this game practically requires it.

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Incredible, March 16, 2020

What an absolutely amazing game. I played the entire things - trophy and all - in one sitting. I loved it. It made me laugh, it was clever, and the puzzles were great. What a simple concept executed in a brilliant way.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Reviewology Lab - clearance required, June 19, 2019

Described as a 'limited parser game', Inside the Facility gives you just six possible actions - NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST, LOOK, and Z (WAIT). My first impression on hearing this was, "So the whole game is just wandering around? That's pretty shallow and restricted gameplay, right?" Wrong. Very wrong.

I spent the next two or so hours enjoying myself so much that all of my initial skepticism was replaced by respect and quite a good deal of affection. I was in my own little world, writing down room names and sketching out travel routes, making notes about keycard colors and puzzle solutions, all the while trying to figure out how to explore deeper and further into the place.

The setting is simple enough - a huge facility full of quirky rooms in which they do SCIENCE! - but there's a lot of character and depth there: the handyman who is too distracted by you to do his job; the hapless security recruits and their exasperated sergeant; a gardener who has mastered the art of strategic avoidance... yes, it's all 'wandering about' but what a wander it is. Clever puzzles and even cleverer humour make all the difference.

You're even explicitly advised to make a map and there's a handy print-out for you to use and everything - and believe me when I tell you that you should definitely do that, else some of the puzzles will be a bit of a nightmare.

Inside the Facility proves that you don't need too much complexity in terms of commands to have satisfying puzzles and a deep interactive experience. Five flasks of hypercalderic Borsch fluid.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
My Welcome back to Interactive Fiction!, August 30, 2018

I used to play lot of this back in the late 90's and it had somehow fallen off my radar until I found an old "Z" game stored in a forgotten folder and that set me searching for any new games and I came across this. Loved this game - in particular the simplicity of the commands and the map which had me compulsively playing until every last square was filled in. This will definitely appeal to people that like order in their lives (or who are a bit challenged to remember where they they have been and where they are going) as filling in the map and being able to refer back to it to navigate was very satisfying. The puzzles are good, most I got but some I had to glance at the walk through to get a hint where to start. My only negative was that some puzzles seemed like the only way to solve them was random guesses and going around in circles until you struck lucky. The characters you meet along the way are interesting, worth waiting a while in some rooms to see what they will say. I also played "Wand" by the same author - but this was my favorite! ... for now anyway....

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Completionists, beware!, August 7, 2017
by Cory Roush (Ohio)

Only kidding - completionists will probably love this game, unless they have something important to do and are on a strict deadline. In that case, put this game off until later.

The basic premise is that 130 rooms make up the Facility, and your job is to discover each and every one. At first it seems simple, until you run into the Facility's security clearance system, which only grants you access to new parts of the Facility once you've found a keycard of the corresponding color. From there, the game is a series of fetch quests and minor puzzles, but it's hilarious and cute and the characters, even though you can't interact with them outside of a very limited set of actions, are so endearing.

There's not a lot of story, at least not an overarching one. But about halfway through the game I realized that I didn't need a story, I was just eagerly waiting to fill in the next box on the paper map I was playing along with. (Don't skip out on that part - half the fun is in filling in the squares and eventually gazing down at a fully developed map.)

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A great exploration of how far you can go with a limited parser. In a lab., May 10, 2017
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

This game reminds me somehow of the old electronic devices you could get around the time of the NES that would play just one game, like Snake or other games. There were little, limited buttons, but they really did a lot with them.

This is the text version of that; you can just move N, E, S, W and Z. But this huge game exploits all of that. It can be finished in 2 hours with the walkthrough, but if you want to do it on your own, you need to do some exhaustive searching. Some of the truly unfair puzzles seem to be solvable if you just keep searching everything over and over again.

If you like this game, you should like DiBianca's other games. This was the number one game in the author's vote.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A fun, simple exploration game, January 25, 2017

An interesting juxtaposition: a parser game with a fixed list of simple commands such that it could work fine with a twine interface or even something simpler, but with a focus on mapping and simple puzzles that gives it some of a classic text-adventure feel. Exploring and mapping the big space was fun, the puzzles were well-designed to be interesting without leaving the player lost, and the text, despite being somewhat minimal, had a nice light-hearted feel to it that gave the game a cheery atmosphere. All in all, a lot of fun.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Clever, funny, unashamed puzzler with reduced parser, November 16, 2016
by Robin Johnson (Edinburgh, Scotland)

The only commands this game accepts are NORTH, EAST, SOUTH, WEST, WAIT, LOOK and STATUS, with actions like picking things up and giving them to NPCs triggered automatically. This is surprisingly effective, and the game contains a variety of puzzles of different types: lock and key, darkness, bribery, manipulate the NPC, figure out the machine, navigation.

I was initially put off by the request to print off a map to fill in as you go, but found it added to the fun, like solving a crossword, and there are certainly puzzles that would have been both harder and less enjoyable without it.

The author knows how to use brevity of writing to good effect with such a large map, longer descriptions would have made the game more tiring. But they managed to squeeze every drop of clarity and characterisation out of the one-sentence descriptions. Some characters made me laugh or feel sorry for them, and some I took an instant dislike to.

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