CGDC #7 – Alexander “Mordred” Andonov’s Monday, 16:30!

February 7, 2010

How long is half an hour when you are bored and miserable? How about when it’s Monday, and it’s 16:30? How about when you’re in love?
This is one of those trick questions, isn’t it.  Like what weighs more, a pound of gold or a pound of lead.  I’m not falling for that.  Roosters don’t lay eggs and you don’t bury survivors.  At least not the pretty ones you don’t.  I’m not entirely sure what that means either.

After playing some of this game:  Oh, man, you should play this one.  This is really good stuff.  I’ll let you know if it starts to suck.

After playing all of this game:  Well, it did do a thing that made me want to throw it across the room for a few seconds there, but it’s still a good game.  If it doesn’t wind up in the top three to five, I’ll be very surprised.

[spoilers begin here]

I like this one already.  It’s set in a very realistic-sounding office, and there are dialogue options!  Who doesn’t love dialogue options?

> 3
You: …

You’ve barely opened your mouth and Adam is already talking over you:

Dialogue options that ultimately don’t matter!  That’s pretty funny.

The immediate question this game raises is whether or not it was written on company time.

Whoa, footnotes!  Footnotes that I can check later by typing FOOTNOTES!  That’s a feature!  I love features!  Good God I’m easy.

1. Start a conversation.
2. Make a good impression.
3. Ask for a date.
4. Do not, under any circumstances, be late for the date.
This is the checklist I am to follow if I want to win the undying love of the girl in the other office building, which naturally I do; anyone would.  What do you want to bet that fate will conspire to screw with my #4?

We’ll deal with that when we come to it.  Let’s try to get her attention.

(2): Intelligent design is what happens before a great number of things can exist, sometimes even computer games, but not, to our understanding so far, humans. Or grammar rules for commas.
This game is shaping up to be my competition favorite.  (To be fair, though, I’m enough of a stereotypical chick to be a sucker for anything with a romance in it.  I know I seem really manly because I’m always grilling up steaks I’ve made by fucking cows in half with my remarkably oversized penis, but trust me, you do not want to see me in front of a motherfucking Jane Austen adaptation, although mercifully I have never uttered the words “Matthew Macfadyen was all right, but Colin Firth is my Mr. Darcy.”  Geraldine McEwan is my Miss Marple, but it’s totally not a sex thing.  Where were we?  Oh, right, getting the girl’s attention.  Maybe it would help if I showed her my remarkably oversized penis.)

Oh, and I haven’t been paying attention to what was running on Parchment as opposed to Leaflet, but this game allows me to copy-paste game text and the previous two didn’t, so I like whatever this one runs on better.  Not that people should be obligated to design their in-browser interpreters to meet my needs, I’m just saying I got needs.  Well, really they’re not needs as much as preferences, but that doesn’t sound quite right.  (“I’m a man, baby!  I got preferences!”)

(3): Technically, this should read “futharkally” instead of “alphabetically”, but not many people know that “F-U-TH-A-R-K” was the first group of runes as the old Scandinavians ordered them, just like the Greeks with “alpha” and “beta”. Well, now you do. Nerd.
Good to know!

Escape-the-room cliche 1 of 6 found: Searching through the trash.
Type CLICHES for a list.

Gah, a “what do you want to unlock it with?”  You’re lucky you’ve built up a fuckton of disposable goodwill, game, or pow, right to the moon.

I understand why Adam would have spare keys to Susan’s and Nick’s desk drawers, but why did Susan have a key to Adam’s desk in her drawer?  Oh, because of cliche number 3.  That makes sense.

Hmm, sort of a hunger puzzle here with this getting sleepier and needing coffee, which makes time advance?  Is that what’s going on?  I guess we can work with that.

When we don’t talk about the Orange Juice Incident We Don’t Talk About, we don’t talk about an incident of industrial proportions.

I’m not sure why examining Susan’s key while it’s in my inventory makes me wander over to Adam’s desk.  Not that I don’t enjoy being over here by Adam’s desk.

Kind of stuck.  I suspect I’m going to need an origami plane, but when I try to fold this ex-origami-donkey into one, I am told that that would reduce it into a badly crumpled ball of paper.  FLATTEN PAPER informs me that the paper is “already quite flat, thank you.”  The only other paper I can find is trapped in the copier due to the Orange Juice Incident We Don’t Talk About.  What am I supposed to do here, game?

A-ha!  Cliche number four, looking under furniture.

> x left side
Look here, this copier also had a LEFT side?
A label says: “Paper size: A3 | A4”. The switch is currently on “A4”.
You see nothing special about the left side.
I feel bad for everything I’ve just seen about the left side, being told it isn’t special.

Tadaa! A shiny new plane!

The gnome points at the copier, and expectantly raises its eyebrows.
You say: The copier? You want to tell me something about the copier?

I think that last cup of coffee might have been brewed with liquid LSD.  That’s the first conclusion I leap to when the clock starts melting and the office develops gnomes.

Unless Timmy’s in the copier, I have no idea what this gnome is trying to tell me.

Oh, if I don’t get it soon enough, the game does it for me.  SAY BOX?  He was telling me the copier was box-shaped?  I don’t know if I ever would have gotten that.

I already know about the left side of the copier, gnome!  Now I’m trying to figure out how to make the plane’s wings smaller!  Do you have a charades for that?

I’m torn.  The gnome bit was cute, and I always enjoy a good caffeine-induced hallucination, but I feel like maybe that should not have triggered if I’d already found the switch on the left side of the copier.  Also, if this weren’t a deliberate parody of ridiculously convoluted escape-the-room puzzles, I’d be very loudly sarcastic about even having to EXAMINE LEFT SIDE.  (It’s nicely well-hinted, though.)

Oh, okay, just had to rip an A3 in half and make two A4s.  I am wasting so much paper here.

Oh, man, now I’ve gotta ask her out in mime!  Awesome and intimidating!

Wow.  I have nearly no useful mime words.  Maybe I need to learn more from the gnome?

Ah.  Here he is.  I think he wants to tell me about paper.  I already know about paper, buddy.  I want to know how to ask a girl out.

…yes, tearing the paper in half.  I got that.  Hopefully we’ll cover Helpful Gestures for Dating before it gets to be 17:00.

Huh.  Gnomes eat paper shreddings.  I am learning so much from this game.

“You look hot” didn’t work?  Disappointing.  “Eat you me” did, though!  I got me a date!

Phew, thought I’d destroyed the origami donkey there for a second, but it was still in the copier.  I can now fold a donkey myself.  Which of you would like to be the first to touch me?

…there is a lot of disambiguation required with these pieces of paper that used to be other things.  Given that the game asks you to put an origami donkey on your desk, it’s probably safe to assume that that is what I mean by PUT DONKEY ON DESK.  Winding up shredding a lot of paper just so I don’t confuse the parser.  At least the gnomes will eat well tonight.

>put donkey origami on desk
Which do you mean, the donkey origami or the pale striped A4 origami paper (formerly an origami donkey)?
GAAAAH *stab stab shred*

>shred pale striped
You can’t see any such thing.
>shred pale
You can’t see any such thing.
>shred striped
You can’t see any such thing.
>shred formerly an origami donkey
You can’t see any such thing.
>shred pale striped a4
You can’t see any such thing.
>shred a4
Which do you mean, the pale striped A4 origami paper (formerly an origami donkey), the plain A4 paper or the A4 tray?
>shred pale striped a4 origami paper (formerly an origami donkey)
You can’t see any such thing.
>shred plain a4 paper
With a sense of finality you push the A4 paper in the slot of the shredder. You hope its next incarnation will be a better one.
>shred a4
(the pale striped A4 paper (formerly an origami donkey))
With a sense of finality you push the pale striped A4 paper (formerly an origami donkey) in the slot of the shredder. You hope its next incarnation will be a better one.

I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU okay deep breaths.  Great, now I’ve honestly forgotten why I was doing that.

Oh, huh, it’s over?  Well, that was cute, and I liked it, but it could’ve used more of an ending (we hadn’t even made it over to meet office girl!  How do we know we weren’t hit by a bus?) and that last puzzle really suffered from disambiguation issues.  (Tip for life:  if the only way to tell the parser you want to use Object 1 instead of Object 2 is to completely destroy Object 2, there is a problem.)  Mostly, though, the game was really good about things like that (assigning Paper 1 and Paper 2 labels to two pieces of paper in your inventory… sometimes.)  Oh, huh, I wonder if there are any mime phrases that make the girl think you’re an absolute douchebag?  YOU HOT BOX?  Oh, man, lots under AMUSING!  I love that.  This was a good game.



  1. mercifully I have never uttered the words “Matthew Macfadyen was all right, but Colin Firth is my Mr. Darcy.”

    Is it because you’re a Macfadyen girl? I can get with that, particularly because the only internet death threat I have ever actually received came from a newsgroup full of crazed Firth fans. (Look, if you’re going to call him “Our Dear Boy” and then use the initials, people will make jokes.) Anyway, you should check out Lost in Austen.

    • Nah, I’d go with Ol’ Dirty Bastard for preference (the six-hour version is really well-cast in general), but I don’t think it’s anything to get violent about, and I would certainly never fashion a shiv out of a fountain pen to keep everyone at bay while I ripped his panties off, or whatever it is that goes on in those newsgroups.

      My mom and I watched Lost in Austen when I was home last summer. Found it pretty uneven, and I had a couple issues with the plot that I can’t recall now, but I did enjoy the bit where she explains to Lydia that a landing strip is a sort of pubic topiary.

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