Dastardly

by Andy Chase (Parser; IFDB)

When you and James first set up the Orpheum, oh, what dreams you had! But now, burlesque is the only thing which brings people to the crumbling theatre.

The ‘about’ section promises just one puzzle, but without a clearly indicated goal for the PC, I found it hard to figure out what to do. (Maybe it’s just me.) (Okay, figured it out.) It took a little leap of logic for me, but once a certain step is done, things moved quickly.

This game was written for 24 Hours of Inform 2004, in which participants had to write an Inform game with 24 hours (no surprise there), and the game had to be set in a theatre, include a petticoat, an advertisement, something repainted and a trapdoor. The time limit probably explains why the environment was not as exhaustively implemented as it could have been, but at least the location descriptions are sufficiently interesting, and successfully convey the sense of dereliction and despair that now plagues the Orpheum.

The game is still buggy in places – indeed, the author admits that they are not terribly experienced – and the puzzle didn’t fully make sense, but it was still a respectable effort.

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