IFComp 2008: Dracula’s Underground Crypt

A humorous day in the life of an assistant vampire hunter. Spoilers follow the break.

Well, it needs work. It needs proofreading, and it definitely needs to accept more synonyms. The author acknowledges this, and specifically requests bug reports for the post-comp release. I think everyone would be happier if he beta-tested before the comp instead of during it.

I think the attempted game is reasonably good here. The sense of humor here isn’t exactly subtle, and there’s way too much insta-death for my liking, but it’s fairly sophisticated in its technique, with an NPC who reacts to incedental actions and a brave attempt at letting the player pursue multiple different goals that reach different endings. Unfortunately, I think there’s only one ending that anyone is likely to get without hints: the one where you kill your mentor and escape. The in-game “walkthrough” goes to a different ending, but even following that is difficult: it doesn’t spell out the precise commands, and it has a major guess-the-verb moment when you need to make a rubbing of a coffin lid to show to the Professor. (Which action is itself basically unmotivated, considering that you can take the coffin lid itself to the Professor and he doesn’t react.)

Rating: 4

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