A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate, it goes on to become.
W. H. Auden

Login | Register


Who is Online

We have 706 registered Members.

There are no Members online.

There are 6 Guests online.

7 Stars IFReview Rating Planet of the Infinite Minds

IFReviewed by Paul OBrian on 2006-07-19 08:33 

Game Profile

Alfredo Garcia


Authoring System

Release Year

IFR Overall Rating
8 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Oftentimes, certain words in a work's title can give a pretty clear hint as to that work's genre. For example, if you see the words "dragon", "sword", or "elven" in the title, chances are you're looking at a fantasy work. Similarly, words like "passion", "hearts", and "desire" can clue you in that the work in question is a romance. And of course, words like "space", "star", and "planet" let you know that you've got science fiction on your hands. Right? Wrong. At least, wrong in the case of Planet Of The Infinite Minds. There are a lot of terms that could describe this game, but "science fiction" isn't one of them. Instead, it's sort of a bizarre, abstract, and surreal journey through concepts and places you may never have expected to visit. In the course of the game, the PC may find himself atop Mount Olympus, or watching the beginning of time, or strolling through the brain of Erwin Schrodinger. And these are actually some of the less abstract vistas the game offers. One thing that POTIM does quite often is to take advantage of text's capacity to encapsulate intangible ideas and give them a certain sense of landscape. Certainly, scenes like this could never take place in a graphical game:

The Realm of Things-in-Themselves
This is the realm where all things exist as they truly are, and not
as we perceive them. Since there is no sense-data around to stimulate
your mind, you find it to be a rather dull place.

I'd like to say that all of this way-out stuff is in service of a brilliantly constructed plot, but I don't think it is. You play a rather stuffy librarian who's trying to lighten up a bit by visiting a carnival. As the carnival winds down, he can either return to the library (and thereby end the game) or follow the gypsy who is urging him to visit her caravan. If he takes the latter course (which pretty much has to happen if you want to see the game), he suddenly finds himself dragged into an increasingly bizarre situation that starts out with a fairly stock setup of mega-psi-powered aliens who walk among us, then spins wildly into scenes like the one excerpted above. The poor librarian no doubt feels rather at sea in these cosmic circumstances, and as a player I felt much the same way. The whole thing seemed to be strung together without much sense of overall structure or meaning. Of course, this may be an intentional comment on the nature of existence, but it didn't come across very clearly if that's the case. On the other hand, it may be that because I didn't finish the game before time ran out, I've missed the masterstroke that pulls the whole thing together. However, based on what I've seen so far, I don't expect that to be the case.

Not that POTIM is a bad game -- far from it. Its concretization of philosophical concepts makes for some pretty thought-provoking IF, and there are also one or two puzzles that I thought were quite clever and original. However, there is also a slew of strange, random things that seem to serve no purpose to the story. Some of them have the feel of in-jokes, like the references to "MacFlecknoe" that pepper the game text. That sort of thing may have been fun for the author, but it does nothing for me. Other things, well, I just don't have an explanation for, unless they somehow all get explained in the endgame. In addition, there are a few bugs here and there, as well as some grammar problems, especially the dreaded its/it's error (see my review of Masque of the Last Faeries). In the end, it may just be another case of a game underserved by the need to play it in two hours. I looked at the hints quite a bit, but still didn't manage to finish it in that amount of time. It may be that I'm wrong about the game's arbitrariness, and that it all comes together in the end. I'll probably never find out, though, due to the circumstances under which I played it. (Gee, can anybody tell that I'm a little grumpy about playing 50 games in 6 weeks when some of those games take way more than two hours to solve?)

Paul OBrian Profile

Name Paul OBrian
Gender Male

Also IFReviewed by

Andrew Plotkin

This IFReviewer IFReviews

- 1-2-3...
- 2112
- A Bear
- 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
- A Paper Moon
- A Party to Murder
- Aayela
- Acid Whiplash
- Ad Verbum
- Adoo's Stinky Story
- Aftermath
- Al Otro Lado
- Alien Abduction?
- All Things Devours
- Amnesia
- an apple from nowhere
- And the Waves Choke the Wind
- Arrival, or Attack of the B-Movie Cliches
- Asendent
- At Wit's End
- Augustine
- Aunt Nancy's House
- Babel
- Baluthar
- Bane of the Builders
- Beat the Devil
- Begegnung am Fluss
- Being Andrew Plotkin
- Bellclap
- Best of Three
- Bio
- Blade Sentinel
- Blink
- Bliss
- Blue Chairs
- Blue Sky
- Breaking the Code
- CaffeiNation
- Calliope
- Carma
- Castle Amnos
- Cattus Atrox
- CC
- Cerulean Stowaway
- Chaos
- Chicks Dig Jerks
- Chronicle Play Torn
- coffee quest II
- Color and Number
- Colours
- Coming Home
- Comp00ter Game
- Concrete Paradise
- Congratulations!
- Constraints
- Crusade
- Curse of Eldor
- Curse of Manorland
- Death to my Enemies
- Delusions
- Desert Heat: A Romance Of Sorts
- Dinner with Andre
- Domicile
- Don't Be Late
- Down
- Downtown Tokyo, Present Day
- E-Mailbox
- Elements
- Enlightenment
- Enlisted
- Episode In The Life Of An Artist
- Erehwon
- Eric's Gift
- Escape from Crulistan
- Evacuate
- Exhibition
- Fear
- Fifteen
- Film at Eleven
- Fine Tuned
- For a Change
- Fort Aegea
- Four in One
- Four Mile Island
- Four Seconds
- Friday Afternoon
- Fusillade
- Futz Mutz
- Getting Back To Sleep
- Glowgrass
- Goofy
- Goose, Egg, Badger
- Got ID?
- Gourmet
- Grayscale
- Guard Duty
- Guess the Verb!
- Halothane
- Hell: A Comedy of Errors
- Hercules First Labor
- Heroes
- House of the Stalker
- Human Resources Stories
- Hunter, in Darkness
- I Didn't Know You Could Yodel
- I Must Play
- Identity
- Identity Thief
- In the End
- In the Spotlight
- Informatory
- Internal Documents
- Invasion of the Angora-fetish Transvestites from the Graveyards of Jupiter
- Jacks or Better to Murder, Aces to Win
- Jane
- Janitor
- Jarod's Journey
- Journey from an Islet
- Jump
- Kaged
- Kallisti
- King Arthur's Night Out
- Kissing the Buddha's Feet
- Koan
- Kurusu City
- Leaves
- Letters from Home
- Life on Beal Street
- Lightiania
- Lists and Lists
- Little Billy
- Little Blue Men
- little girl in the big world
- Lomalow
- Lovesong
- Lunatix
- Lurk. Unite. Die. Invent. Think. Expire.
- Madame L'Estrange and the Troubled Spirit
- Magocracy
- Maiden of the Moonlight
- Marooned
- Masquerade
- Metamorphoses
- Mingsheng
- Moments Out of Time: Explorer Type
- Moonbase
- Murder At The Aero Club
- Muse: An Autumn Romance
- Music Education
- My Angel
- My First Stupid Game
- Mystery Manor
- MythTale
- Nevermore
- Ninja V1.30
- No Room
- No Time to Squeal
- Not Much Time
- Of Forms Unknown
- On the Farm
- Only After Dark
- Order
- Out of the Study
- Outsided
- Pass the Banana
- Persistence of Memory
- Phlegm
- Photograph: A Portrait of Reflection
- Photopia
- Phred Phontious and the Quest for Pizza
- Piece of Mind
- Pintown
- Poor Zefron's Almanac
- Prized Possession
- Prodly the Puffin
- Punk Points
- Punkirita Quest 1: Liquid
- Purple
- Ralph
- Rameses
- Ramon and Jonathan
- Rape, Pillage, Galore!
- Redeye
- Remembrance
- Rent-A-Spy
- Research Dig
- Return to Zork: Another Story
- Reverberations
- Rippled Flesh
- Risorgimento Represso
- Ritual of Purification
- Ruined Robots
- Sardoria
- Scary House Amulet!
- Scavenger
- Schroedinger's Cat
- Screen
- Shade
- Shadows on the Mirror
- She's Got a Thing for a Spring
- Silicon Castles
- Sins Against Mimesis
- Six Stories
- Skyranch
- Slouching Towards Bedlam
- Small World
- Sophie's Adventure
- 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
- Stranded
- Strangers in the Night
- Stupid Kittens
- Sun and Moon
- Sunset Over Savannah
- Sweet Dreams
- Sylenius Mysterium
- Symetry
- Tapestry
- Temple of Kaos
- Temple of the Orc Mage
- Terrible Lizards
- The Adventures of the President Of The United States
- The Atomic Heart
- The Beetmonger's Journal
- The Best Man
- The Big Mama
- The Big Scoop
- The Case of Samuel Gregor
- The Cave of Morpheus
- The Chasing
- The City
- The Clock
- The Coast House
- The Commute
- The Cruise
- The Djinni Chronicles
- The Edifice
- The End Means Escape
- The Erudition Chamber
- The Evil Sorcerer
- The Fat Lardo and the Rubber Ducky
- The Frenetic Five vs. Sturm und Drang
- The Gostak
- The Granite Book
- The Great Xavio
- The HeBGB Horror!
- The Isolato Incident
- The Land Beyond the Picket Fence
- The Last Just Cause
- 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 PK Girl
- The Plant
- The Realm
- The Recruit
- The Tempest
- The Temple
- The Test
- The Town Dragon
- The Trip
- The Water Bird
- Thorfinn's Realm
- Threading the Labyrinth
- Till Death Makes a Monk-Fish Out of Me!
- Timeout
- To Otherwhere and Back
- Tookie's Song
- Trading Punches
- Transfer
- Trapped in a One-Room Dilly
- Travels in the Land of Erden
- Triune
- Typo
- Unholy Grail
- Unnkulia X: Escape of the Sacrificed
- Unraveling God
- Vicious Cycles
- VirtuaTech
- Volcano Isle
- What-IF?
- When Help Collides
- Where Evil Dwells
- Who Created That Monster?
- Winter Wonderland
- Withdrawal Symptoms
- Wrecked
- Yes, Another Game With A Dragon!
- You Are Here
- You Were Doomed From the Start
- Zero One
- Zero Sum Game
- Zombie!