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IF Comp ’08 Review – Sean Huxter’s Piracy 2.0!

October 6, 2008

SPACE PIRATES!

It has been so long since my blog had pictures.  I’m not sure why Sean Huxter’s game gets pictures and no one else’s does… it could be because SPACE PIRATES!  That could be why because.  Also, do these kids not make adorable space pirates?  Give it up for yourselves; you guys are awesome.

Anyway.  Game.  Game about the space pirates.  Pirates in space.  Let’s play it.

[spoilers start right here]

Sub-etha waveband?  Oh dear.  I’m scared now.

This is one of those introductions you have to read and comprehend, I think.  Let’s see.  Blah blah blah blah I have been kidnapped by pirates.  My goal is most likely to escape.  Good.  I can work with that.

…wait, I just did the stupidest thing I could think of, and it turned out to be the right thing to do.  Perhaps later I will cut my own hand off and feed it to the zombies.

Oh, wow, there are feelies!  Sean Huxter does not fuck around.

This game takes place on a ship which is very familiar to the protagonist, so it makes little sense to force a player to draw his/her own map. So I have provided a map for your use.
Punk rock!

Ah, it seems my instinct to head towards cool air, what with the ship being on fire, was correct, since on the map the path I didn’t take culminates in a skull and crossbones.  Although that could just mean it’s especially piratey down there.

Oh, huh, the game is keeping track of my wounds.  That’s almost never a good sign.  Hmm, two?  I assume one is for poking at electrical wires with a piece of metal, but I’m not sure how I sustained the second one.  Maybe I got too cold in the freezer?

Phew, that was close.  I assume.

I’ve got a bad feeling about all this dust.

Hey!  Fucking pirate fucking shot me!  NOT NICE!

Although I guess it wasn’t nice of me to shoot him back, either.  He’s dead now.

The bulkhead door to the west is securely closed and a sign says: ‘WARNING. WING ACCESS RESTRICTED TO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL. DO NOT OVEREXPOSE!’
To what?

This is not one of your newfangled interactive fictions, this is a bloody text adventure, goddammit.  My opinion is that the world needs both.

Ha ha!  Missed me, you big jerk!  Hello, Mom?  I’m shooting pirates!  I’ll call you back!  No, in space – I’ll call you back, Mom!

Oh, good, they didn’t reprogram the door to my quarters.  I would’ve.  I bet they’re pretty swank.  Oooh, yeah, they are.  I’ve got carpet.

Ohshit, pirates coming looking for me.  I shall hide under the carpet.  No?  Well, poop.

I think I’ve seen enough of this game to declare a verdict.  It’s very solid.  Didn’t find any bugs or typos, the puzzles are cued well enough to be solved easily but not quite complete gimmes, so I still feel a little smart for having solved them (probably my favorite difficulty level, if we’re being honest here) and nothing stood out as particularly ridiculous or horrible (which is very bad for the entertainment value of this review.)  Competent?  Competent up the yin-yang.  Or maybe out the yin-yang.  I don’t know.  I’m not a doctor.

I can’t possibly score it as an interactive fiction, though.  It is firmly and solidly a text adventure game, which makes sense, since according to Sean Huxter’s website he’s been working on it in one form or another since 1984.  (The website also claims that John Wilkes Booth looks like Rupert Everett, though, so I dunno how far it can be trusted.)  At no time did I get the sense of what a ship captain feels, nor did trails of moisture slither down the pod bay doors like the tears of forgotten children, nor did I stop, fondle my laser pistol, and remember the scent of my dead wife’s neck.  Which, for my money, is perfectly friggin’ fine.  Gets an eight.

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