Ad Verbum

by Nick Montfort


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- Corey Arnett (British Columbia, Canada), October 20, 2007

- Tracy Poff (Hamlin, West Virginia, United States), October 19, 2007

Baf's Guide

A wordplay game reminiscent in some respects of Infocom's Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail of It. Some of the puzzles work better than others--a few are just obscure--but there's one section of the game that's simply astounding. Specifically, there are alliterative rooms where the parser has been rewritten to allow only commands in which every word begins with a certain letter--and all the responses are likewise rewritten. For example, >EXAMINE EFFIGY elicits "Enemy effigy. Extreme enormity evident. Execrable evildoer!" The puzzles in this section involve figuring out the appropriate commands to take certain objects and get out of the rooms, but it's more rewarding simply to try to push the limits of the game's literacy (and it takes a lot of pushing). The rest of Ad Verbum doesn't quite live up to that portion of the game, but the alliterative section alone makes it worth trying.

-- Duncan Stevens

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