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IFCOMP 2008 - The Absolute Worst IF Game in History

Game #13: The Absolute Worst IF Game in History
Author: Dean Menezes
Played On: October 14th (10 minutes)
Platform: Inform 7 (Zcode)

F:1 + T:0 + P:0 + S:0 + W:0 + B:0 = SCORE: 1

     Game’s Subtitle:
     An Interactive thingy

     I was seriously tempted not to bother with a review of this game. I was also tempted to vote it a “10” just to (maybe) deny the author his obviously sought-after last place finish, but I figure the hordes of 1’s wouldn’t be affected much by a lone, dishonest 10.

     But, surprisingly, I do have a little to say about the “game.”

     At first glance, it seems as though the author has tried to dump every outmoded IF design cliché of yesteryear into this joke entry... but he hasn’t. Random death? Check. Random winning? Not an IF cliché, but check. The “twisty little passages” nod to Colossal Cave? Yep. A maze that’s not actually mapped geographically? Sure thing. Long, made-up fantasy words? You bet. All library defaults used, including “as good-looking as ever” for >X ME? Uh huh.

     But where’s the hunger daemon? Why doesn’t >XYZZY teleport me to another location? Where’s the painted-on room description? Where’s the unimplemented scenery? >UNDO actually works. It’s not so much the absolute worst IF game ever, as it is the absolute worst IF parody game ever.

     I’m not encouraging the author to try harder to disappoint next year; far from it. But neither am I encouraging him to submit a real entry next time. My guess is that he’s after a last-place finish and some witty thrashings from angry reviewers. But... meh. I actually expected that it might do a better job of pretending as though something interesting was just around the next corner, if only I’d keep at it, much the way 2006’s Sisyphus -- a far more successful joke entry -- did.

     It’s a “1” from me. Was there ever a doubt?

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