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About the Story
On the H.M.S. Spaceman, the first anatomically complete human-shaped space ship, the crewmen are genetically engineered to fulfill one purpose: intergalactic domination. Their latest conquest: the alien rhizoXls of Planet rhizoX. With the dangerously high levels of testosterone on board, and the aliens' cryptic references to some upcoming "Big Bang," these surrender negotiations are bound to go juuuuust fine.
70th Place (tie) - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)
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Number of Reviews: 2
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H.M.S. Spaceman is a ribald sex comedy, which is not one of my preferred comedy genres. And the first act dragged for me. However, I stayed with the game and slowly started to warm up to it. By the middle of the second act it had grabbed me, and from there on all I could do was hold on for dear life - between laughs, that is. It's kind of like the reaction I had the first time I read A Confederacy of Dunces. I kept thinking "The game is going there? And there?! And there!?!"
Like A Confederacy of Dunces, though, you can sense that there's more to H.M.S. Spaceman than just the outrageous bids for laughs. For one, while the game starts out with the male humans' point of view, it eventually switches to that of the aliens. And these humans are clueless - totally clueless. What you end up with is a lampooning of patriarchy and colonialism, right down to some William Shatner / Star Trek elements.
But it's the rollicking comedy that dominates. The part that made me laugh the hardest was (Spoiler - click to show)when Penumbra is trying to find a song to listen to on the radio. I finally settled on, "I hear you call my name." And then the game slowly gives you the next few lines:
"And it feels"
Me: "I think I recognize that. What is it?"
And then: "It's... it's... oh, right!"
So, an alien tentacle creature planning to seduce and deceive some clueless humans is listening to Madonna's "Like a Prayer." I laughed long and hard.
Also, for some reason, (Spoiler - click to show)the whole sex scene told from Penumbra's - the alien tentacle creature's - point of view. Like how she remembers the need for humans to slow down and engage in "the fourth play." Just... wow.
Overall, an outrageously funny sex comedy - but with more going on underneath the surface.
This reminds me in an odd way of a more optimistic and gender-swapped version of In The Friend Zone from a few comps back. In that game, you explored a world that was a giant woman.
In this, you are aboard a giant male-shaped spaceship. It is a riff on Star Trek and general science fiction tropes. In style, it reminds me of 80's college humor movie.
The level of explicitness is similar to Leather Goddesses of Phobos on Safe Mode.
It's polished, descriptive, and amusing, although I didn't personally care for the subject matter.