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Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
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Release 1 (Original Competition Version)
Story File
Release 1 (Original Competition Version)
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
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by David Welbourn

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Dynamite Powers vs. the Ray of Night!

by Mike Carletta profile

Space Adventure

Web Site

(based on 9 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Dynamite Powers and Rosalind have escaped the Chinese water torture on Lord Infamy's dirigible. With the help of their new friend, Melcor, they led the revolt of the singing monkeys of Melodion and toppled Infamy's oppressive regime.

Now the trio has learned the location of Lord Infamy's superweapon, the Ray of Night -- Mars! As Dynamite infiltrates the mysterious Martian base, he is ambushed by henchmen with paralyzing gas!

We rejoin Dynamite as he awakens in a new deathtrap…

Game Details


25th Place - 24th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2018)

Editorial Reviews

IF Comprehensive
A clever, charming game I’d happily recommend to anyone
There are three puzzles to the game: a standard adventure-style inventory and set-piece puzzle; a puzzle that’s almost a logic problem; and a puzzle involving understanding the color mechanic in the game. The idea of a “black-and-white” text-adventure in the latter is brilliant, and the puzzle surrounding it is creative.
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Patrick Brian Mooney
Good energetic comic-book adventure writing with lots of zip and zowie
There's a lot of the feeling of Leather Goddesses of Phobos in the writing here, I think; the game as a whole really does seem to channel Steve Meretzky's cocked-hat approach to SF-based IF and his sense of wry humor pretty well, especially at the beginning.
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The Good Old Days
A very pulpy sci-fi space adventure
The exclamation mark in the title says it all…
+ Pitch perfect pulp prose: It gets no cheesier (in a good way!) as this
+ Mad science! With death rays, transmutation machines and deathtraps
+ Excellent cover art, looks like the real thing
+/- Brutally tricky brain-teasers: Some very hard puzzles that take careful observation, thinking and planning
- Colour puzzles in a black and white medium = tedium
- It is very likely that you will land in several dead man walking scenarios
= *melodramatic voice* Who can help Dynamite Powers stop the sinister Lord Infamous?
See the full review

McT's Interactive Fiction Reviews
Oh, the game is entirely unfair. On purpose. I died frequently.
The text is tight and very well written and is pitched perfectly for the era it parodies. Cleverly, the game even acknowledges the fact that it is black and white – but then it takes this a step further and incorporates that fact into its main puzzle.
See the full review


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Number of Reviews: 3
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A difficult and polished short superhero game, February 3, 2019
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

I beta tested this game. In this game, you play as a superhero who has been captured, and must escape to stop the evil villain from shooting a giant ray at Earth.

The game is arranged linearly, with 4 big set-piece puzzles. Each puzzle requires multiple steps to complete, and can be quite complicated.

I found the game very polished, although occasionally harsh (requiring death to learn what to do, for instance). Highly recommended for people into difficult puzzles in parser games.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Martian Sunrise, August 23, 2023
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

Don't you hate it when you've let yourself be captured by your nemesis, got into his latest death-trap for his amusement (and that of the viewers), and he can't even afford you the courtesy of staying to watch and applaud your "certain death"?

Well, it happens at the beginning of Dynamite Powers vs. the Ray of Night. What follows are a series of delightfully pulpy escapades, each fully playing into the expected Bond/supervillain tropes while presenting an honest challenge at the same time.

Beneath the breathless location descriptions, the game is actually built very efficiently. Everything is elaborately described, but the rooms contain just the information and equipment necessary. No silver trinkets or red herrings to divert the attention.

Despite the jokingly over-the-top writing style, the puzzles are no laughing matter. Even with careful deduction, it's necessary to fail and restore a few times to gain essentiel bits of information to take into account.

The game cheerfully plays with the awkwardness of describing a "show" from a visual medium in the language of a text-adventure. Not only does this mismatch produce some comedic effect, the game derives its most challenging puzzle from it.

Very polished, the author did all the necessary work to account for the large number of possible combinations in the middle game.

Due to a slight misreading on my part, I managed to destroy my home planet in the endgame. Hopefully you won't.

It certainly is worth trying.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Tough, fun puzzler with a well-drawn setting, November 20, 2018

Playing Dynamite Powers vs. the Ray of Night! made me feel like I'd been dropped into the middle of a text adventure version of one of those old space opera radio serials from the 1930s, like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. The game does a great job of immersing you in this setting from the very beginning, with its cover art, the opening scene featuring the titular hero trying to escape yet another deathtrap, and the game billing itself as Episode 7. There are also some classic IF references and even a Looney Tunes reference.

Gameplay is fairly linear and entails solving a sequence of challenging puzzles. There are only a few such puzzles, but they're all rather intricate and require multiple steps. It took me about two and a half hours to play through the game, which included two instances of diving into the hint system.

Said hint system is a helpful feature, too. Each of the major sections of the game has a large number of hints that you can slowly uncover until you learn what you need to do. I was able to keep uncovering hints until I had just the right nudge to send me back to the game without spoiling the puzzle.

There is some learning-by-death involved, which I'm not normally a fan of. However, the puzzle that features this most strongly - the second major puzzle in the game - is quite clever, and I really, really like it. In fact, I'd say it's my favorite individual puzzle out of all of this year's IFComp games.

The game is also cruel on the Zarfian scale, although outside of the learning-by-death puzzle I noticed this mostly with respect to some information that you need. Thus if you can acquire this information some other way you don't actually have to restore to an earlier save game.

The last major puzzle is particularly challenging. Again, though, the hint system is strong enough that I was able to uncover just what I needed to proceed while still coming away with the feeling that I had solved most of it myself.

The final scene is a pretty much perfect ending to the game.

Overall, I enjoyed Dynamite Powers vs. the Ray of Night!. It's got a fun setting and some challenging puzzles that I enjoyed thinking through. It was also in my personal top ten for IFComp 2018. I'll definitely be tuning in next time for Episode 8!

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For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Individual Puzzles of 2018 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting puzzles in games released in 2018 which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual Puzzle in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is...

For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Setting of 2018 by MathBrush
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This is version 14 of this page, edited by Mike Carletta on 21 November 2021 at 3:59pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page