IntroComp 2010 - Plan 6 From Inner Earth - Forty Two Hooks
 
Disclaimer: I absolutely adore Ed Wood's master-piece, that slice of cinema that reigns over the so-bad-it's-good kingdom. I own the DVD and all. When I saw Tim Burton's biopic in the movies I clapped at the end, and at the beginning, and every 15 minutes or so. What I'm trying to say is: I'm scared by this one. To be worthy of such a title, a game has to be perfectly awful, otherwise:
     if the quality of the game is just bad, say "It's a shame!" instead;
     if the quality of the game is good, say "It's an insult!" instead.

But let's move on...

Plan 6 From Inner Earth, by Adrien Saurat

All Things Considered...
A lightweight set, sometimes humorous, almost always poor in the richness of the environment, about a boring fellow with a boring job in a place that we tend to place alongside with mystery and excitement - and this is, as far as I'm concerned, the strong point of the game.

[+] A setting around the boring stuff one has to do in "exciting" places amuses me. It made me wonder about the poor bureaucrat alone in Area 51 and all the America's Got Talent episodes he must have watched. Poor thing.

[-] The implementation is beyond the grave (Get it? Plan 9 From Outer Space? Beyond the grave? AH AH AH!), and the puzzle was... well, puzzlish. It turned out to be as boring as the job itself.

So, how bad do I want to play the full-game?
Not much, but I confess I would love to see the concept (guy alone in ultra-secret government facility, doing ultra-secret boring stuff near an ultra-secret alien in captivity) better worked on, but this intro didn't sold me the idea that this game would be anywhere near accomplishing it.

Notes while playing:
[1] Well, I think I'll have to get used to this, since I've found it abundantly in all the games so far. The description of the room talks about buttons, panels, even "my favorite chair", but it all gives me a You can't see any such thing response to the examine command. It's my favorite chair! C'mon!!!

[2] In the same mood as the note before, I've found this to be interesting:
> X LASER
They are red. Doesn’t look like a “Don’t touch me” warning?

> TOUCH LASER
You feel nothing unexpected.

I also feel nothing unexpected if I touch the alien, in spite of all the security devices around him. It's a Government place, so that's sort of expectable.

[3] As a positive note, I'll have to mention the light humor of the writing. Not that the prose is brilliant in any way, but it has some good moments, like the bug really being a cockroach. It annoyed me, though, that the answer to that particular puzzle relied on verb guessing. I've tried X COMPUTER, OPEN PANELS, SAY HELLO WORLD TO COMPUTER, OPEN COMPUTER, SWITCH COMPUTER OFF, etc. I don't even know how or why did I got to try TOUCH COMPUTER.

[4] "!!ALERT!! !!ALERT!! !!ALERT!!
YOU SHOULD PANIC"
Ok... you made me sketch a smile. Anyway, now I'll have to go to that room where I couldn't enter before, even when I had nothing else to do here but watch TV! Actually I find it boring for the games to decide I can't go explore something because I don't feel like it. I'm thinking of Waker again.

[5] And that's it. I'm stuck with the Second Generator (I even tried touching it, really!) and without motivation to go on. Goodbye Plan 6. You were almost a 9.
12/8/2010 00:29:13

It's not obvious, but you can >FRNEPU the generator. (rot13 decoder: http://www.rot13.com/index.php)

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leandro ribeiro
25/8/2010 20:21:12

You're right: it's not obvious. And it shouldn't even be necessary.

Well, I think is not nearly as bad as the "touch laser" part :)

Reply
leandro ribeiro
25/8/2010 20:21:48

I meant "touch computer" up there :\

Reply
18/11/2010 01:30:51

Thanks for your review.
I don't have much to say. Not enough hints. Too many standards responses forgotten. I didn't put enough time in it. My bad.

I tried to put in this game some of my favorites topics about american culture (Ed Wood, the Twilight Zone, Groucho Marx, feelings about the cold war), but it's not enough to make a game that other people will enjoy, of course :p

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