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8 Stars IFReview Rating Janitor

IFReviewed by Emily Short on 2006-08-01 04:43 

Game Profile

Author
Kevin Lynn and Peter Seebach

Idiom
English

Authoring System
Inform6

Release Year
2002

IFR Overall Rating
8 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Separator
House or Office: Office. And later, House. And Generic Adventure Parody. This game has it all, but knows what it's doing.
Cheese Rating: Monterey Jack. There is a book whose title alludes to cheeses, but it doesn't seem actually to be about cheese.
Played to completion?: Yes
Rating: 8

On my first attempt I quit because of the office and the secretary and the so forth, all of which (as the alert reader may gather) I was getting a little weary of.

However, I did go back to it, and the game afforded me one of the more entertaining experiences of the competition. I realize my reactions to earlier games may suggest that I'm just innately prejudiced to the old-school puzzle-oriented sort of game design, but that's not actually true: what I'm prejudiced against is games that don't invent anything new. This one doesn't invent its setting, exactly — or even its mechanic, since games where you strive to lower your score have been around since at least Zero Sum Game — but it does add its own particular spin and its puzzles.

I have a soft spot for games where you see the same objects or rooms from multiple points of view or in multiple ways (Common Ground comes to mind), so the Mimesis Disruptor provided a good bit of fun in this regard.

I found the puzzles mostly intuitive and quite entertaining, and there was a good mix of the easy and the slightly less easy. Once or twice I ran into trouble with specifying what I wanted to do: in particular, if I had the mortar in my possession but wasn't actually holding it, the game would tell me I had no mortar. (The difference between 'if (mortar in player)' and 'if (IndirectlyContains(player,mortar))', I imagine, but it can be very important.) There were a couple of other things I found tricky; I sometimes griped at the hints for not providing more information, but I was determined enough to keep going even though they didn't always give away the full correct action. This process took me more than two hours, and led (in the end game) to me TXDing the gamefile, because it was early in the morning by that time and I was too impatient to write the authors and await a response.

Which is a lot of engagement, especially given how many games I'd already been through.

Overall, this game shows the attention to detail that speaks quality. There are lots of optional fun tidbits, lots of quirks. Including the option to play the game in its normal, "forwards" form is terrific. The butter substitutes are fascinatingly disgusting. There are some minor points where I struggled with the parser, but this could be cleaned up with a little more testing, and overall it was clear that the coding was solid and competent.

Emily Short Profile

IFReviewer Rating
10 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Emily Short
Gender Female

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