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IF Comp ’08 Review – Mark Jones’ When Machines Attack!

October 4, 2008

Tonight on Fox!

[here come the spoilers, like sniffin’ dogs]

wHen mAchines aTtack. What’s up with the capitalization?! I don’t know?! It spells HAT?!

You briefly apologize for your tardiness, and after you are down with your polite gestures, you wait for her response.
You down with polite gestures? Yeah, you know me! Also, wait, what sort of polite gestures we talkin’ here? Deprecating “oh it was nothing” hand motion? Tapping gently at the corners of my mouth to indicate she has something on her face? I suppose I should be glad I didn’t give her the finger.

…I wonder if she’s a robot.

A second/minute hand clock, currently reading 4:30.
lolwut? I should ignore that, move on, not google it, focus on the game…

Wikipedia says: In some precision clocks a third hand, which rotated once a minute, was added in a separate subdial. This was called the ‘second-minute’ hand (because it measured the secondary minute divisions of the hour), which was shortened to ‘second’ hand.[1]

So… it’s a clock with a second hand? Is this going to be on the test?

I can so see the filing cabinets. The room description said I could! Oh, wait, it says “you could see a clock, filing cabinets.” Could. I wonder under what conditions?!

I’m just not going to look at anything anymore unless I absolutely have to. It is time for must advance the plot!

“As you can tell,” the receptionist begins, “this is a locker room.” You look around and nod in agreement.
That is exactly how that shit would go down in real life.

“This machine is what we call the Integratron.”
I dunno what it does but do I ever want one.

…is the fairly large, drill-shaped machine… a drill?

This looks like one of those games where stuff does stuff and you’ve gotta figure out what stuff to do to what stuff. I am slightly intimidated, but it’s probably going to be fine. Clearly I’m not all that brilliant if I had to be told what the locker room was, although I was smart enough to agree. (“What? No it isn’t!” you say. Then you punch the receptionist in the face and tell her to shut up; she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. You are indeed a very brilliant scientist.)

“Hey you,” you call out, somewhat politely.
I can’t be bothered to be full-on polite? Well, take what you can get, I guess, you poor drill-shaped-machine-using bastard.

You try to talk to him some more, but he cuts you off and explains that he has work to do, and that you shouldn’t be disturbing him. You politely decline and let him get back to his work.
Declining and letting him get back to his work are mutually exclusive, though, because of what the word “decline” means!

Okay, have decided that I’m going to let the little nitpicks slide unless they’re particularly funny. Gotta focus! We’re working for Planetron now, people! Keep it together!

Actually “first day on a new job” is not a horrible setup for a game, since it easily explains the fact that you have no idea what’s going on or what anything does without actually being “you’ve got amnesia.”

There is a tiny and I believe unintentional mini-puzzle involved in following the receptionist. When she moves away from the western wall and towards the north edge of the room, you have to really yank out those reading comprehension skills and follow her northeast.

Okay I get it it’s a factory it’s very big. Very big factory. I hope I’m not going to be asked anything about it by a visitor because I have not been paying attention. Big factory. Makes shit. When are the machines going to attack?

…you know what would be nice, actually? Descriptions of what things look like. Everything’s all “there’s a hallway and here’s a railing and over there are some stairs” but like what color are the walls? I like to know things like that so I can get the mental images going.

Okay, wow, Mark Jones? This is a helpful hint for life. I am being very constructive here when I say that you should start finding out what words actually mean before you go using them in sentences. Riff thinks you might be foreign, but Mark Jones to me does not sound very foreign. New Zealand maybe. They still speak English in New Zealand. Also they have sausage daiquiris, which I bet are nasty.

The room has a kind of engineering university touch to it.
Five dollars says Mark Jones attended an engineering university. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that by any means, I’m just pretty sure it’s true and I could always use five dollars.

Well, you have no family, so you won’t be planning to write letters any time soon.
Oh! That’s sad.

There is no mirror or anything on the top–it’s just the dresser. Your clothes should be in here.
I just got here! How did Planetron get my clothes?

Maybe this won’t be the sort of game where you have to do stuff to other stuff. Maybe this will be the sort of game where you follow a receptionist around a giant factory for twelve hours.

“About couple days”, he says with a thick Asian accent.
I think it was an Asian gang or something! I saw somebody, he looked Asian, and he was speaking another language, I think it was… Asian! Oh dear, I seem to have started back in on the nitpicking while waiting for the actual game to start.

You don’t know who works here, all you know is that you may return alongside the conveyor belt by going either south or west.
> w
You can go only south or northwest.

Okay, I am done. Apologies to Mark Jones if the actual game in here is actually good, I just lack the patience to wait for it to show up.

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One comment

  1. […] I suspect the aforementioned delusioned teenager of being one Mark Jones, whose wHen mAchines aTtack was one of my favorite games to review last year in much the same way that The Eternal:  Kiss of […]



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