IFRO

A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man.
John Adams


Login | Register


Username:
Password:

Who is Online

We have 685 registered Members.

There are no Members online.

There is 1 Guest online.

4 Stars IFReview Rating Withdrawal Symptoms

IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin on 2006-06-25 10:19 

Game Profile

Author
Niclas Carlsson

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6

Release Year
2000

IFR Overall Rating
6 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
(First: "Discreetly".)

Nice idea for a small scenario, but frustrating to play.

I really didn't get the idea of most of the puzzles, not until I read the solutions. It's not that any of them were really logically outre. I just didn't play with them much -- I didn't see them as playable-with.

Some sort of observation about context, buried in this. If I encounter a safe with five buttons, and pushing the buttons makes different noises, I'll try to crack it. If I encounter the same buttons on a bank machine, I'll look around for instructions. Really. Having out-of-context or badly-integrated puzzles isn't just an aesthetic goof -- it messes up your players' expectations, and that affects how much effort they put into continuing play.

Similarly, when I found numbers arranged unconventionally, I thought it was a bug at first. Because there was no reason for the numbers to be arranged like that.

If the context had been a Toontown bank, arranged for maximum customer frustration and comic antics -- that would have been different. Expectations.

Also: don't put generic error messages on good ideas. I tried a command early in the game, and got the response "Why would you want to do that?" Okay, I thought, that's not a useful command. A bit later, it turned out, that command was necessary. I didn't think to try it again.

(Even worse, the command doesn't become usable at the moment it becomes useful! I started over, got to the point where I needed to do it, and found it didn't work. I had to go and gather evidence that it was useful. That allowed me to do it. This is the famous "knowledge puzzle", and it's very irritating to anyone who uses a "restore" or "restart" command. Sure, this is a short game -- but it got me. And lo, I was irritated.)

Andrew Plotkin Profile

IFReviewer Rating
9 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Andrew Plotkin
Gender Male

Also IFReviewed by

Paul OBrian

This IFReviewer IFReviews

- 1-2-3...
- A Crimson Spring
- A Day for Soft Food
- A Day In The Life Of A Superhero
- A Good Breakfast
- A Light's Tale
- A Moment of Hope
- A New Day
- A Night Guest
- Aayela
- Acid Whiplash
- Ad Verbum
- Aftermath
- Alien Abduction?
- All Roads
- All Things Devours
- an apple from nowhere
- Arrival, or Attack of the B-Movie Cliches
- Asendent
- At Wit's End
- Aunt Nancy's House
- Babel
- Bane of the Builders
- Beat the Devil
- Bellclap
- Best of Three
- Blink
- Bliss
- Blue Chairs
- Blue Sky
- Breaking the Code
- Calliope
- Carma
- CASK
- Castle Amnos
- Castlemaze
- Cattus Atrox
- Chaos
- Chicks Dig Jerks
- Chronicle Play Torn
- coffee quest II
- Color and Number
- Coming Home
- Comp00ter Game
- Constraints
- Death to my Enemies
- Delusions
- Desert Heat: A Romance Of Sorts
- Dinner with Andre
- Downtown Tokyo, Present Day
- E-Mailbox
- Earth and Sky 1
- Earth and Sky 2: Another Earth, Another Sky
- Earth And Sky 3: Luminous Horizon
- Elements
- Enlightenment
- Enlisted
- Erehwon
- Eric's Gift
- Evacuate
- Exhibition
- Fear
- Fifteen
- Fine Tuned
- For a Change
- Fort Aegea
- Four in One
- Four Seconds
- Friday Afternoon
- Fusillade
- Glowgrass
- Goose, Egg, Badger
- Got ID?
- Grayscale
- Guard Duty
- Guess the Verb!
- Halothane
- Happy Ever After
- Hell: A Comedy of Errors
- Human Resources Stories
- I Must Play
- Identity
- Identity Thief
- In the End
- In the Spotlight
- Informatory
- Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win
- Janitor
- Jarod's Journey
- Journey from an Islet
- Jump
- Kaged
- King Arthur's Night Out
- Kissing the Buddha's Feet
- Koan
- Kurusu City
- Letters from Home
- Life on Beal Street
- Lightiania
- Little Blue Men
- Lomalow
- Lurk. Unite. Die. Invent. Think. Expire.
- Magocracy
- Maiden of the Moonlight
- Masquerade
- Metamorphoses
- Mingsheng
- Moonbase
- Mother Loose
- Murder At The Aero Club
- Muse: An Autumn Romance
- Music Education
- My Angel
- MythTale
- Nevermore
- Of Forms Unknown
- On the Farm
- Only After Dark
- Order
- Outsided
- Pass the Banana
- Phlegm
- Photopia
- Phred Phontious and the Quest for Pizza
- Piece of Mind
- Planet of the Infinite Minds
- Poor Zefron's Almanac
- Prized Possession
- Prodly the Puffin
- PTBAD 3
- Punk Points
- Punkirita Quest 1: Liquid
- Purple
- Ralph
- Rameses
- Ramon and Jonathan
- Redeye
- Remembrance
- Research Dig
- Return to Zork: Another Story
- Reverberations
- Rippled Flesh
- Ritual of Purification
- Ruined Robots
- Scary House Amulet!
- Schroedinger's Cat
- Screen
- She's Got a Thing for a Spring
- Silicon Castles
- Sins Against Mimesis
- Six Stories
- Small World
- Spacestation
- Splashdown
- Spodgeville Murphy and the Jewelled Eye of Wossname
- Square Circle
- Stack Overflow
- Stargazer: An Adventure In Outfitting
- Stick It to the Man
- Stiffy Makane: The Undiscovered Country
- Sting Of The Wasp
- Stone Cell
- Strangers in the Night
- Stupid Kittens
- Sun and Moon
- Sunset Over Savannah
- Sylenius Mysterium
- Symetry
- Tapestry
- Temple of the Orc Mage
- The Best Man
- The Big Mama
- The Big Scoop
- The Case of Samuel Gregor
- The City
- The Clock
- The Cruise
- The Djinni Chronicles
- The Edifice
- The End Means Escape
- The Evil Sorcerer
- The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang
- The Gostak
- The Granite Book
- The Great Xavio
- The HeBGB Horror!
- The Lost Spellmaker
- The Masque of the Last Faeries
- The Meteor, The Stone And A Long Glass Of Sherbet
- The Moonlit Tower
- The Newcomer
- The Obscene Quest of Dr. Aardvarkbarf
- The Orion Agenda
- The Pickpocket
- The Plant
- The Realm
- The Tempest
- The Temple
- The Trip
- The Water Bird
- Thorfinn's Realm
- Threading the Labyrinth
- Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out of Me!
- Tookie's Song
- Trading Punches
- Transfer
- Trapped in a One-Room Dilly
- Travels in the Land of Erden
- Typo
- Unnkulia X: Escape of the Sacrificed
- Vicious Cycles
- VirtuaTech
- Volcano Isle
- Wearing the Claw
- What-IF?
- When Help Collides
- Where Evil Dwells
- Who Created That Monster?
- Winter Wonderland
- Yes, Another Game With A Dragon!
- You Are Here
- Zero One
- Zero Sum Game