IF Comp ’10 – Timothy Peers’ Heated!

October 18, 2010

Okay, goddammit, no more Minecraft until all these comp games have been played and reviewed.  You know what I just spent six hours doing?  Filling an ocean with gravel, God help us all.

You know what playing Minecraft is like, more than anything?  Have you ever started reading a book in the afternoon, continued reading into twilight, and then suddenly some well-meaning person turns on the lights in the room and you realize how dark it had gotten and how sore your eyes are?  Imagine that happening every thirty seconds. That is what Minecraft is like.  Also I have never done any heroin but that is probably another thing that Minecraft is like.  I half-seriously suspect it of being an alien mind virus.

Minecraft is the alien mind virus, I mean, not heroin.  Heroin is the thing that aliens used to come down in their pie tin to buy until Margaret showed them how much tastier the brain chemicals produced during orgasm are.  Remember that; it’ll be on the test.

Okay, enough screwing around.  Let us play some Heated!

[spoilers begin here]

It finally happened, you have been offered the promotion of your lifetime and will finally be making the kind of money your tuition was worth.  Your boss hands you a sheet of paper, all it needs is your signature.
What now?>

Gosh, that sounds nice.  I will just tap the S key and–
Oh snap it was a dream!  I like that it worked on keypress instead of waiting for you to enter a command.

Save often, the game tells me.  I certainly will.

Oooh, it’s tracking my heat level.  That is interesting.  I wonder to what end.

Gaaah my alarm is driving me nuts and I just dropped my keys in the toilet.

RAAAGHHH!  That is IT!  If this is the kind of frustration you face BEFORE you get to work then there’s simply no way you can survive it after getting there!  You go back to bed, throw a pillow over your head and ignore the world.  Your boss can eff the eff right the eff off and you will get a job delivering pizzas for all you care!
Huh, okay, we’re looking at tightly timed puzzles looks like.  How am I going to shut off this alarm?

Oh, just hitting it worked?  I guess when I tried smashing it before I was still on the bed and therefore couldn’t reach it.  Fair enough.  (Although I dunno about you guys, but I can totally reach my nightstand from my bed.  In fact, my personal definition of “nightstand” is “a table-sorta thing whose purpose is to be reachable from a bed.”  Still, fair enough.)

>put on work clothes
(first taking your work clothes)
(you pulled the hanger out since you don’t need it to keep your clothes neat anymore)
I really like this little detail, but now I’m wondering about my character, who seems to be a fairly typical slacker, yet cares about keeping his work clothes neat.  Implying that he cares about his job, or at least the prospect of promotion.  The mention of tuition in the dream bit would indicate that he’s got a degree, too.  I bet he was one of those kids who got As without having to study very hard, sailed through college with full marks and big dreams, then crashed and turned bitter when he hit the job market.  Also his name is Chad Pfefferminster and he is a talking pony.  Okay, that is enough backstory.  I am ready to roleplay this PC now.

Heated is weird so far.  The heat tracking is interesting, and the alarm puzzle serves as a really good introduction to it.  The game under the heat tracking, however, is thus far a scarcely implemented apartment game.  Maybe we’ll get to actually go to work?  That would earn some points.

With the psychic abilities granted to me by the RESTART function, I will now close the lid of my toilet.

You go to smoothly palm your keys, but the actual result of your efforts is knocking them to the floor where they bounce with a force that seems to defy physics, having them fly back up and nick the underside of the toilet lid (popping it up a few inches), and watching them fall into the dismally tinted water inside.  The lid clacks back down over them.
What the fuck?  That is not even a thing that can happen!  I am trying to decide if I think it’s hilarious or bullshit.  Well, anything that dilutes the psychic abilities granted to me by the RESTART function is okay with me, I guess.  Using knowledge there is no way my character could possibly have had to prevent disaster always sort of bothers me a little.  (If there’s narrative justification for it, though, that shit is cool as hell.)

>get keys with hanger
[That’s a little too complicated for me to understand.  If you want to get something, just take it (as long as you have the properly fashioned tools/accessories on your person you will automatically utilize them if the scenario requires).]
That… I am all verklempt.  And now I am all verkeyenhaven.  Kickass!

>unlock car
What do you want to unlock your car with?
Dear sweet poop in a raincoat, game!  I thought you were better than this!

Oh, shit, my car just overheated.  Nice little parallel there.  I wonder if I’ll be able to fix it?

Hmm.  I wonder if there is stuff in my house that I will need to bring with me in order to fix my car.  I noticed an electrical outlet behind my couch, which seems like the kind of thing that would not exist if I weren’t going to need it for something.  (I don’t even have kitchen cupboards.)  If so, that would kind of cheapen the toilet lid thing.

Seriously, what is this dude’s toilet lid made out of that a set of keys traveling below Mach 1 could pop it open?  Never mind the improbability of hitting it at that angle in the first place.  I mean, I have dropped all kinds of shit in my life, some of it into toilets.  (I know, there’s a really good joke to be made there if you interpret “shit” in its scatological meaning, but I’m going full speed some other direction right now, so feel free to make it yourself and snicker.  Send me a postcard!)  I have dropped a shoe into a toilet, I don’t know the hell how.  I mean, a shoe that I was wearing.  I have backed a fucking car into a combination microwave/oven range, but I have not now not never dropped anything into a toilet while the lid was down.

Anyway.  Deep breath.  RESTORE.

Why is my backyard so big and empty?  I thought I was in a maze for a second there.  Well, I have gum now.  That’s something, I guess.

Fuck yeah I got a ham sandwich.  S’fucking good ham.

>x refrigerator
It’s a little dented, a little worn, and on any given day virtually empty.  It’s shut.  You can exit the kitchen to the west.
You can’t go that way.

>hit trunk
You give it a solid whack on the side, and to your relief, it squeaks itself slowly open.
Heated:  A Game In Which You Hit Shit.

>plug hole with gum
Generally people plug things into electrical outlets, not chewing gums.
You roll the gum around in your fingers and flick it casually over your shoulder.  You can’t help but imagine that a piece of gum that bad for chewing must have been pretty important for something else.
Fuck you, game.

[Previous turn undone.]
It’s frustrating when you can’t get things right the first time (this will register after your first move following the undo).
Oh, man, allowing UNDO but charging a unit of heat as a penalty.  I like that.  That is snazzy.  Now go make PLUG HOLE WITH GUM synonymous with PUT GUM IN HOLE already!  Chop chop, Master Onion!

>fill radiator with water
You need to be holding the radiator before you can put it into something else.
I think this is the first time in my life anyone has told me I need to be holding a radiator.  Those things is hot, yo.

Oh, man, made it to work and the boss upped the ante.  Apparently I need to iron my pants and do something about my stench and my attitude.  That’s cool.  I can do that.

>iron clothes
You, as you’ve always done, use one hand to hold your clothes up in the air and the other to slash your iron wildly at them.  Much to the surprise of everyone who have ever witnessed your efforts, it works.
I call it The Trouser Press of the Drunken Monkey.  Also, that should be “everyone who has witnessed your efforts.”  Everyone, bizarrely enough, is singular.

Whoo-hoo!  Got my promotion!  It’s weird that it would hinge solely on my performance this morning, but I’ll take it.

So, yeah, I had fun with this game.  The puzzles were logical and well-hinted, if maybe a tiny bit too easy.  (By which I mean there could also have been one or two harder ones.)  I really liked the way the progression was handled, how at first you think you’re King Shit of the Turd People under Deuce Mountain because you managed to get your clothes on, then you get into work and your boss is all “dude, you smell bad.”

The setting for the puzzles, though, was less than inspiring.  We have all been this dude in his filthy apartment — some of us in our actual real lives — and it’s not particularly interesting.  Next time I would like to see this puzzle aptitude and attention to detail in a game with more personality.  Oh, and more implementation.  And what was with that backyard?  Is there an easter egg back there I don’t know about?

Giving it a seven.

Update:  I would like to give this game a seven, because I found the flow really satisfying, and I think Peers shows a rare knack for gameplay mechanics, but goddammit, it’s also a shitty apartment game, and giving it a seven is artificially inflating the rest of my scores to the point where nines are having sex with tens and everything is chaos.  So I’m calling it a six, and dude, next time do absolutely anything but a shitty apartment game and it will be awesome.


  1. “King Shit of the Turd People under Deuce Mountain” is the worst opera ever penned by human hand.

    It’s also the funniest sentence fragment I’ve read all month.

  2. I am trying to decide if I think it’s hilarious or bullshit.

    I think it’s both. (That’s still a net win.)

    Also, a lot of people complain about not being able to reach the alarm clock from the bed, but in my life I have found that this is an effective way of making sure the alarm clock actually gets you out of bed, so I had no problem with that.

    • Personally, I have found that wherever the alarm clock is, I will materialize next to it as soon as it goes off, smack it the fuck in the snooze button, and teleport back to bed, but I’ll accept that it works for other people.

      When I experimented with this technique, though, I moved just the alarm clock and left the nightstand next to the bed, where in my opinion it belongs, so that you can bung your glasses and the book you’re reading down on it before passing out. The PC in this game seemed neither to wear glasses nor read books, though, so I guess it’s all right.

      • Nightstand next to bed + me + morning = recipe for embarrassing collisions. When I was at the PC’s stage of life I would just put the book on the floor next to the bed. Actually, when I was at the PC’s stage of a life I didn’t really have a bed, it was just a mattress on the floor.

        Holy shit, I was actually a bigger slacker than this guy at this stage of my life. I may have to go back in time and put myself out of my misery.

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