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About the Story
A cantankerous ex-cop calls in a favor from his old partner.
Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Dial C for Cupcakes (Ryan Veeder)
Dial C for Cupcakes is a short parser-based game (45-60 minutes of play time, probably) with gentle puzzles. Itís a sequel to his comp-winning previous work Taco Fiction, but it plays fine even if you donít remember all the details of that game, or didnít play it to start with. Itís light and fluffy without being uproarious, and makes for a nice Halloween treat... (more)
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Number of Reviews: 4
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This slightly silly (but highly enjoyable!) piece by Ryan Veeder is perhaps inspired by Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, as its story is built around the escapades of two minor characters from his previous work, Taco Fiction.
I came across this work first, then later played Taco Fiction to compare. The two are not related in any meaningful way, so perhaps it's not really appropriate to think of Dial C for Cupcakes as a sequel. Certainly, this piece works well on a standalone basis.
The first act of the story seems almost conscientiously designed around exercising some of the latest features of Inform 7, specifically the ability to do floating point math and to switch the perspective and tense of rendered text. Once the exposition is done, however, it settles into a more typical style of interaction, in a scenario that poses the question: Just how far are you willing to go for friendship, justice, and/or frosting?
The second act is well-paced and entertaining, and it does a good job of demonstrating how careful design of NPC interaction can provide an appropriate level of satisfaction to the player without demanding too much from the author.
With a semi-realistic setting and a story that gives license to be somewhat mischievous, this is one of those pieces that probably has broad enough appeal to hold the interest of casual mainstream players -- or even those new to interactive fiction. I'll be adding it to my short list of recommended pieces for those just trying IF, and I would definitely point it out as a great seasonal piece around Halloween. While it might not quite be kid-safe (since an understanding of certain adult motivations is necessary to complete the story), it's certainly no worse than PG.
I enjoyed this short game very much. I would recommend it to beginners because of the simple problem-solving in the game and the scavenger hunting that is often found in IF. I would recommend it to seasoned veterans because it offers a good hour or two of fun, and it has an original premise, a lot like the author's Taco Fiction. Like being a part of a funny movie, an idea I like. I would put two thumbs up, if they weren't stuck in cupcakes!
The bulk of this game consists of attending a party where you need to gather a dozen cupcakes of different kinds. Before this, there is a lengthy prelude involving your friend.
The writing is polished and creative, but somehow it never clicked for me. The game seemed kind of slow.
The puzzles are well-done, letting the PCs motivations lead instead of the player's.
Overall, a pleasant snack.
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