IFComp 2011: Professor Frank, by Laurence Kilday

This is the seventh game I am reviewing for the 17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition; if you’re a judge, don’t read on unless you have already played and reviewed the game yourself.

This game has no blurb. Not sure if that signifies anything, but I’m not including the blurb here, because it doesn’t exist.

The narrative voice is making me want to quit immediately. Lose the ALL CAPS!! And the EXCLAMATION POINTS!! And you aren’t non-smarmy?! That is a BIG PROBLEM!! There were places where the parser seems to have been deliberately broken, such as the “What ???” in response to unknown words. All of the non-custom responses are in third person, althoguh the library responses are still second person. Everything is tagged with colors for some reason, sometimes incorrectly (the “blue” box is actually described internally as “black”), and objects are sseemingly arbitrarily distributed.

I walked through a lot of ill-described rooms, opened up a million doors, and realized, shit, I wasn’t having fun, and I can’t figure out how anyone would have fun with this. Either this is a troll entry or someone honestly thought that completely frustrating gameplay, random wackiness, and ignoring about 20 years worth of stylistic development in amateur IF would be pleasurable for other people.

Rating: 2

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

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