IF Comp ’08 Review – Harry Wilson’s Lair of the CyberCow!

October 20, 2008

Update the however manyth this happens to be:  Right.  Okay.  On my desk, I have a brand new Canadian computer.  In this brand new Canadian computer, I have an Adrift 3.9 runner and a copy of Lair of the CyberCow, which I was somewhat cruel to on the grounds that it didn’t do very much.  I have been assured that this was entirely my own damn fault for not running it in the 3.9 runner, although I prefer to blame Splattergroit, Steve Jobs, Andrew Plotkin, and my friend Ben who works for Microsoft and is therefore just generally blameable.

I’m’a just throw the updates to this review in with the old review, with, like, a note or something.  Let’s see if this game can be improved by actually working.

[spoilers start here]

Clearly we are not in Wisconsin, or there would be a bar right next to the chapel. Where does the occupant of the cottage go to drink?

You are at the well. You have fond childhood memories of this well, although none of them are occurring to you right now.
They say that every time you remember a memory you’re replacing the actual memory with your memory of the memory, but replacing a memory with the fact that you have a memory strikes me as silly.

It’s a good-sized chunk missing out of the bell’s rim: you fit your toe into it exprimentally.
This raises so many questions. Which toe, for starters? I would assume my big toe, but that isn’t actually specified. Also, am I not wearing shoes? I’d think I’d have shoes on, since I just got off a bus, which would mean I took them off in order to stick my toe in a bellhole. Are they easily slip-offable, or are they big ol’ thigh-high combat boots that I had to crouch down and unlace? Am I wearing socks? If so, did I take them off also? In real life, I would leave them on, since I don’t know where this bell’s been… then again, in real life, I don’t think I’d be sticking my toes into bellholes. Also, and this is the important bit: what were the results of my experimental toe-fitting? Did my toe fit?

There is not much going on in this game, otherwise the toe-on-bell action would not have ranked a paragraph. Hopefully things’ll pick up once I’ve discovered the titular Lair of the CyberCow.

> climb rope
There are stairs right there!

Up here, it’s as if you’re suddenly a priest.
Also here is the book.
I’m going to need more details on that sudden priestlike sensation. Am I celibate in this room? Was I not celibate in the other rooms? Was there sex in this game and I missed it? Is this about my toe?

Y’know what would’ve been really cool? If when the book (not a book, the book) told me to see table 7-12b, and I typed SEE TABLE 7-12B, something had been implemented. Anything. That would’ve earned this game many bonus points that I am beginning to suspect it’s going to need.

Oh, there’s a fairy or something. Vluurinik the fairy. If I had a fairy, I would totally name it Vluurinik. This is why I’m not allowed to have fairies.

There is a cupboard here, which you recall generally not having cookies.

Inside the cupboard is the bowl and the flashlight.
New, from the people who brought you The Book!

> move couch
Moving the couch reveals a cleverly-hidden trapdoor!
Trust me, anything I am able to find is not cleverly-hidden. Especially if it’s hidden under one of the only three objects in the room… hey, wait, where’s the rest of my childhood home? Did we really only have a living room? How very Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of us! No wonder we never had cookies!

Door mechanics are automatic in LAIR of the CyberCow! (A sure sign of top quality.)
Actually, Lair of the CyberCow, I appreciate the fuck out of that. Thank you.

From the makers of The Book, The Bowl, and The Flashlight… introducing… The Robot! (Cheers and applause.)

The partially completed robot lying here on the table is made mostly out of cardboard boxes and styrofoam, duck taped and wired together. The controls have been drawn on carefully with black magic marker. It only needs a little more work.
> complete robot
Building invincible robots isn’t in your line. You’d need some instructions or something.
I am the first to admit that I’m no rocket scientist, but I can duct-tape the shit outta some Styrofoam. With or without instructions.

I can so see the ladder, unless this is a Phoenix Wright reference and it’s really a stepladder.

> read note
Player – climb the tower – I taped it to the inside of th
Either my old friend realizes we’re in a game or my name happens to be Player. Or, more likely, I get hella the poontang. Schwing!
(Working Version Update:  This was a bug caused by the “enter your name” prompt not popping up properly.  I do not get hella the poontang.  I am saddened by this.)

Vluurinik is super useless. I’m not sure why we even have a Vluurinik.
(Working Version Update:  As far as I can tell, nope, Vluurinik does not get much less useless.)

Well, the hint system is nice. What big cross, though? Is it… somewhere in the chapel? Should I have brought my own? Wait, did I bring my own?

> i
You are carrying nothing… you lost it all in that crazy bit in the well, while trying not to drown.

Yay! I found the CyberCow!

…who is about as useless as Vluurinik. Harry Wilson, if you’re going to have a conversation system, please code more responses. Actually this goes for everyone who may or may not be Harry Wilson. Thank you.
(Working Version Update:  CyberCow did not become more conversational, although probably that is my fault for assuming it could talk.  It’s a cow.  The fuck do I want?)

Ah. I didn’t bother to look at the steeple because I assumed it was unexaminable wallpaper.

Okay, Lair of the CyberCow, I am done, and the next time I see you I want you fleshed out. You were very strange in a couple of places, but that’s not nearly as much of an issue as the lack of there that was there. Giving you a five plus one entire extra bonus point for the automatic door-opening. I love automatic door-opening.
(Working Version Update:  Y’know, I was sort of expecting more there to be here in the actual working version?  But there wasn’t?  You know?)

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