The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game
Taylor Vaughan (2010)
The People's Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game, what a name. And as you might expect itís a game about bringing the revolution to the people, subverting capitalism, and converting a small America town to Communism. Itís a light hearted piece that doesnít try to beat you over the head with Marxist ideas, but instead pokes fun at them in a humorous way. And humor can go a long way.
This is a medium sized game with quite a few rooms, around 20, and as far as I can tell you can access everything right from the start of the game. This breaks one of the standard rules in IF game design, which is fine, who needs rules, but the only thing is it affected my game play negatively. The problem is the headquarters isnít gated off from the rest of the game. I think the player should be forced to go downstairs to the laboratory, so they can get all the stuff, before being allowed out the front door. I didnít do that, and running around with half the things to solve the game started to get real frustrating. This is why you gate areas off, to force players to do certain thing that are needed for game play.
But once you head out the front door itís time to spread the word that the revolution is on the way, and the fun begins. There a plenty of puzzles outside, itís a mini puzzlefest, and all of them are integrated smoothly into the game. Most of the actions seem natural and there were only a few places where I got stuck on a few puzzles. For the most part, the game runs at a fast pace. But I have to say, having misleading things on a list is never good. You sit there trying to figure this riddle out only to find there is no answer. That's lame.
The biggest annoyance for me was with the formatting of the text. This might be a little harder to control in Inform 7 than in I6, but here it looks like the author didnít pay any attention to how his book looked at all. Last sentences of paragraphs sit by themselves at the bottom of the page, and there are a number of places where text blocks are smashed right up to another text block. There needs to be more vertical spaces. And this game has a bunch of useless canít go routines, default ones no less.
But for all my harping I really liked this game. Thereís plenty of exploration, tons of puzzles to unlock, a few characters to talk to, and a bit of humor that puts the icing on the cake. Itís what any game should aim for with a play area thatís easy enough to navigate without a map, and puzzles that are at a medium level of difficulty. But itís not perfect. I scored it a 9.