IFComp 2008: Recess At Last

A tale of elementary school by Gerald Aungst. Spoilers follow the break.

Once more, I don’t have a lot to say. It’s cute, it’s short, it has no obvious bugs, it doesn’t have a lot of story. But what story there is branches: faced with the problem of misplaced homework, you can either find it or do it over from scratch. I expect most people will follow the latter branch, because the former involves some non-obvious actions and conversation-topic guessing. Unless there’s an alternate solution involving the custodian and the gym teacher; I never managed to do anything with either of them.

The main charm of this game is in the details of pre-adolescent life: if the mention of Spiderman mittens or a backpack covered with ballpoint doodles evokes a wry smile, this game may be for you. Examining the contents of the PC’s homework folder, I found myself saying “Vocabulary word search? Were school assignments this inane when I was in fourth grade?” and then “Oh, yeah, they were, weren’t they?”

My biggest gripe is that it replaces the default “I don’t understand that sentence” error message with “That noun did not make sense in this context”, which is misleading in cases where it can’t understand the verb.

Rating: 5

2 Comments so far

  1. Greg on 19 Oct 2008

    The word search was his brother’s, so that’s a second grade assignment I guess. My favorite cute bit of implementation was the fact that if you type “write …” you’ll write whatever you told the parser on your jeans. The game keeps track, so I guess you can use your pants for notes.

  2. Merk on 3 Nov 2008

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that I played a completely different version of this game than everybody else.

    For me, the bugs never *stopped*. There were guess-the-verb problems, yes, but even an engine error that was shown before each and every prompt throughout the entire game after the first few:

    “Run-time problem P12: Too many activities are going on at once.”

    I tried updating WinGlulxe to the latest version, and I even started over. But the problem still happened — just at a different spot, and it never let up afterwards.

    The game was rough, unpolished, and in many ways unplayable. I have no idea why it worked so much better for most everybody else.

Leave a reply