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The source files and a precompiled ZMachine storyfile of this adventure were recovered from a salvaged "Infocom hard drive", and made publicly available on GitHub in an effort to preserve them.

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Bureaucracy

by Douglas Adams and The Staff of Infocom

Satire
1987

(based on 41 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

IMPORTANT! Our records show that you do not have a license to operate this software. Normally, you would be required to complete a License Application Form and mail it (with proof of purchase) to our Licensing Department, and then wait the customary four to six months for processing.

Luckily, for your convenience, we have, at the last minute and at great expense, installed a remarkable new on-line electronic application form on this very disk, which will be processed by our modern 24-hour computer service moments after you fill it in.

Bureaucracy! Everyone, at one time or another, feels bound up in an endless swathe of red tape. In Bureaucracy, best-selling humorist Douglas Adams draws on his own battles with beadledom to create a hilarious misadventure. You'll find yourself in the midst of a bureaucratic muddle so convoluted that you can't help but laugh.

You've just landed a great new job and moved to a spiffy house in a nice little town. You're even being sent to Paris this very afternoon for a combination training seminar and vacation. What could possibly go wrong? The answer, of course, is everything. When the bank refuses to acknowledge your change-of-address form, you'll find yourself entangled in a series of bureaucratic mishaps that take you from the feeding trough of a greedy llama to the lofty branches of a tree deep in the Zalagasan jungle.

The distinctive humor that made The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a runaway success will keep you in stitches as you confront a series of bureaucratic puzzles and experience the thrill of outsmarting the powers that be.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: ZIL
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
IFIDs:  ZCODE-116-870602-FFBC
ZCODE-116-870602
ZCODE-86-870212
ZCODE-160-880521
TUID: zjyxds3s57pgis3x

Editorial Reviews

SPAG
This game has become the standard by which almost all tongue-in-cheek games about real life are measured, and has been imitated many times, but seldom equalled. The atmosphere is not surprisingly, very much like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but is in many ways funnier since it hits areas that the gamer will have experienced firsthand.
-- Graeme Cree
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5 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Finally, a bank (and game) you can trust!, May 18, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)

While it would be hard to argue objectively that Bureaucracy is the best Infocom title, I believe it is the funniest and ergo my favorite. Hell, even before you play the game there's several laugh-out-loud moments just perusing the feelies, my favorite being the triplicate credit card application that is different on every page.

On start-up, you're asked to fill out personal information (to identify the character you'll be playing) and you'll be ridiculed (and your information will be misrepresented anyway, bureaucracy and all that). By this point if you're not hooked you probably won't be.

What ensues is comic madness, and unless you are a very good puzzle-solver, it will lean towards madness. As your blood pressure rises while playing the game, so does the character’s. There’s a blood pressure gauge in the status bar that goes up for every mistake you make. And yes, you can have a heart attack and die if it gets too high.

I did need a few hints to win this one, but even I was amazed at my persistence with some of the puzzles. The game’s tightly developed plot and brazen humor kept me away from the hint book several times. While there are a couple of instances where the game seems unfair, with one walking dead situation, if you persist you will be duly rewarded with the genius that was Douglas Adams.


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The following polls include votes for Bureaucracy:

Dystopia by dacharya64
I love dystopian fiction, and after playing Square Circle, I decided I had to see if there were other dystopian tales in the IF-verse.

Games where the PC is an antihero by Sorrel
I'm looking for games where the PC is the villain/antihero of the story and the traditional plotlines of "good beats evil" aren't followed.

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This is version 9 of this page, edited by Petter Sjölund on 27 September 2021 at 9:34am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item