IFComp 2010: Heated

Spoilers follow the break.

So, this one starts off as the implement-my-apartment exercise that a lot of new authors seem to do for their first project, and it doesn’t take things far beyond that. It’s a game about getting up in the morning and going to work. Once you get there, the game ends abruptly. But at least that’s not quite all there is to it. The challenge: you’re up for an evaluation, and the results are heavily dependent on how much care you put into your attitude and appearance on that specific day. Ironing your clothes, for example, gets you a significantly better evaluation. I suppose there are jobs where this would be important, but even then, you’d think they’d care about whether you’d been ironing your clothes every day, rather than just on the day they pay attention. So I don’t think I’d want to work for a place that’s this mismanaged, but I get the impression that the PC here isn’t in a position to be choosy.

The only interesting part: Various little things that happen over the course of the morning annoy you, and increase your “heat” (the opposite of “cool”), kind of like in Bureaucracy or Little Blue Men. Using the “undo” command increases your heat as well. Since you’re up against a time limit (getting to work late is the very worst thing you can do), it’s natural to undo anything that doesn’t work exactly as you intended, but the “heat” mechanic turns it into a trade-off, weighing time against annoyance — unless, I suppose, you’ve got an interpreter that can handle undo at a lower level, as I believe some do. Regardless, all you need to do for as good an evaluation as you can get is to play through it two or three times to optimize your schedule. (There’s a set of about three rooms outside the house that seem to serve no purpose other than to tempt you into wasting time exploring them.)

Rating: 4

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