IFComp 2008: Riverside

Spoilers follow the break.

So, um. Yeah. This game is basically a practical joke on the player.

It starts off as a highly linear, story-driven, not-very-interactive piece, the sort where the player’s actions don’t have a lot to do with the unfolding plot. I can’t say that I liked it much — seemingly-important things were left unimplemented while pointless furniture got lavished with attention, and it put in roadblocks, such as stopping things dead until you got your girlfriend a beer, for no apparent reason other than to have roadblocks, and didn’t seem to really get anything out of being interactive. But at least the prose was competently-written, so I was willing to go with it and see where the story went. It had just the beginnings of a mystery, and it’s hard to judge a mystery from its beginnings.

Then, completely without warning:

> enter train
You get on the train but then you remember that you’re pregzorz with teh baby, so u get off but teh baby drink all the blood. it wuz teh baby all along. his name was riverside!!!11one!1eleven (also you should try ragequitting)


Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game or QUIT?

I can report that my immediate reaction was a kind of visceral, horrified shock. I assume that this is what the authors were aiming for, so good job guys! You achieved your objective, which is more than I can say for a lot of the entries this year, and I give you a couple of points for that. As in-comp trollery goes, it’s actually fairly innovative. And personally, I’d rather play an innovative, well-executed troll than a sincere but badly-executed game.

Not that I want to encourage trolls or anything. To any potential trolls reading this: It has been done before. Go picket a Scientology building or something instead.

Rating: 3

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