IFComp 2009: “Rover’s Day Out”

This is a game from the 2009 IFComp.

The fixed-width text didn’t work at all under Gargoyle, just giving
me question-marks instead. I’m willing to believe the problem here is
Linux and its occasional half-assedness about insignificant things
like fonts and readability, and just fire up the Windows box to do
this properly.

Anyways, I went into this looking just at the name, and all
prepared to wax lyrical about how timing is everything and even though
it had been a long time since a dog game as of last year, Snack
had filled that niche nicely and we didn’t actually need
another. Surprise! This is not a game in which you play a dog. It is a
crazy amalgam of Starcross and LASH and Shade
with maybe a touch of Bad Machine, and it mostly works.

So, for the most part, I liked this one. It’s imaginative,
interesting, and insanely well-detailed, not only with a high level of
implementation but with extremely dynamic implementation details, which
do much to mitigate the one aspect I’m a bit critical of, namely, the
repetitiveness of the early game. Having to do the same actions three
times over is more than a little annoying.

By and large, though, I’d rate that as a quibble. I think I spotted
a single grammatical error at one point too, but the text is mostly
well-written and clever, and I’m quite favorably impressed.

Style points for having excretion as a character activity which is
plot-relevant and not juvenile, even if it did start to feel a bit
much by the third time around. Also, it knows the word
“widdershins”. That’s excellent.


About Jake
I'm a mathematics professor at the University of Louisville, and a geek.

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