IF Comp ’09 – Emilian Kowalewski’s Trap Cave!

October 2, 2009

I am starting with the WINDOWS folder this year because this year I have a Windows machine, and that gives me a nice fuzzy feeling deep inside.  Not that I think Windows is superior in any way (well, other than the fact that games are actually released for it, but that, as Michael Ende said, is Another Story and shall be told Another Time.  Germans like to capitalize things.  Sometimes if you don’t capitalize something in German it ceases to be a word – hey, was this a parenthetical statement?  I am having such a let’s-ride-bikes moment right now), it’s just the operating system I feel comfortable with, darn it to heck.

The WINDOWS folder consists of a single game, Trap Cave, by the dude who did the Project Delta demo last year.  I remember that one having a potentially interesting interface where you all equipped shit in your hands and shit – good God, look at that sentence, “you all equipped shit in your hands and shit.”  This is what I sound like when I’m talking.  This is why I don’t own property or sit on the library board or possess a single pair of nice non-denim trousers.  This is why no one ever wants to talk to me about Hegelian philosophy.  Granted, I don’t actually know anything about Hegelian philosophy, but I totally could, if I wanted to; I’m not incapable of, like, reading a book about mutter mutter gradual trailing off

The WINDOWS folder consists of a single game, Trap Cave, by the dude who did the Project Delta demo last year.  I remember that one having a potentially interesting interface in which certain items could be equipped in the character’s left or right hand, but ultimately it was very short, and, well, a demo, and on that basis I declined to score it.  Let’s see what Trap Cave is like.

Mostly Spoiler-Free Upshot: It is very German in Trap Cave.  I hate to say “sorry, Trap Cave, call me back when your English version is primarily in English,” but it’s either that, type the entire game text manually into Babelfish, or learn German, and I can’t learn German this weekend, because this is the weekend I take over the world with my machine.

[spoilers begin here]

The game opens with an apology from its author, who ran out of time before the thing could be fully translated into English, and strongly recommends we play the German version if we understand German at all.  Unless the only words in the entire game are “haben Sie eine Reservierung?” I am just screwed on that front, but I possess a fondness for horrible machine translations and a certain degree of patience.  Forward we go on English!

Nice little Trap Cave ASCII logo.  Also, Trap Cave, while not being GATOR-ON, Friend to Wetlands! is fun to say out loud.  Try it as Oprah or that guy who announces the cast of Saturday Night Live.

Hmm, instead of a command prompt, I am given a choice menu, making this more of a choose-your-own-adventure.  This is a fundamentally gameplay-altering design decision, but I don’t believe it’s necessarily a bad one.  We’ll find out, I guess.

Um.  The very first choice I made upon finding myself in Trap Cave (examine yourself) led to a screen of non-highlightable (and therefore non-pastable-into-Babelfish) German text.  I think Hose might mean pants?  Oh well, it probably doesn’t matter what I look like.  This choice menu system might actually save me.

…also, if you don’t speak German, “Du untersuchst dich” looks really dirty.  (Oh, it just means “you examine yourself.”  Well then.)

Mein Hintern was something in the Fall.  I bet Fall means “fall.”  Mein Hintern is probably my butt, or maybe my back.  I bet the thing that it was in the Fall was “injured.”  I can totally will myself to read German.  This will be fun.

I would kick the lattice door, but my bliebt fest verschlossen.  “Remained fully locked,” says Babelfish.  I hadn’t realized I was kicking it in an attempt to unlock it.

Ach du lieber Himmel.  I can’t friggin’ read German, and I am far too lazy to type every sentence into Babelfish, even if these weren’t sentences with special characters in them that show up as percent signs.  At this point, it seems a little silly for me to continue playing this.



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