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About the Story
This is a snack-sized adventure game written in my own hobby programming language MechaniQue. I will make it available as a web page so you don't have to install anything (see walkthrough for details and URL). [blurb from IF Comp 2008]
33rd Place - 14th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2008)
A thoughtful piece thoroughly discussing the prevalence of family values over professional obligations...
Seriously, though, it's just a rather unambitious get-out-of-the-locked-room game. The parser takes you back to the pre-Infocom era, and so do the puzzles. There is no saving/restoring in this game; fortunately, it's pretty short, and seemingly can't be put into an unwinnable state.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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This game is spectacular in being an exercise in frustration.
The premise is simple enough. Sneak past your manager so you can meet your girlfriend for a date. It is the execution that makes the game unplayable.
Common verbs do not function. "Examine," is not recognized. If you happen to type "Look," with a capital L, the game does not recognize the command. "Inventory," is not recognized, but its abbreviation, "i" works.
There are cases of guess the noun. For example, in one room if you try to "look at the PC," the game fails to understand. However, if you "look at the computer," the game provides a description.
Other fun elements -
You can't save the game.
You can't quit the game.
If the game were playable within the conventions of IF, I would forgive the inability of the game to display an apostrophe correctly. When the game tried to show “eight o’clock,” it came out “eight o ' clock” This was just added salt in the wound.
In the author's defense, he did compose this game using a language that he created himself. However, I suspect the language itself may have a few kinks to be worked out.
The in game puzzles weren't overly complex. Those were overshadowed by the puzzle of trying to guess how the programmer was thinking in order to phrase commands effectively.
I would recommend this game as an example of how not to implement an IF language or game.
Nerd Quest ended up placing 33rd out of 35 in the 2008 IF Competition, which means that it is least better than The Absolute Worst IF Game in History, though this is, one supposes, a rather low bar to clear. Gabor de Mooij's game is written in a self-developed Java-based interactive fiction system. This means playing the piece is a bit of a hassle, since one must first install java. (I recommend getting the game files from the IF Comp 2008 installer or zip file, since this gives us all the files we need together in the right directory structure.)
Unfortunately, the self-made system is incredibly primitive, failing to recognise most of the common commands and -- what is worse -- failing to give helpful parser errors. Guess the verb issues are very common. Saving is impossible. The story is short and shallow: we need to escape from the server room by solving some brief and not too interesting puzzles. In other words, Nerd Quest has not much to recommend itself. (Although Gabor de Mooij is one of the few fellow Dutch interactive fiction authors that I know of, so there's that!)