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IF Comp ’10 – Maude Overton’s The Blind House!

November 9, 2010

I need an RSS buffer so I can post this.  Here, have this snippet from my novel.

She was the forty-third thing I fucked that day, the girl I mentioned.  You know, the one with the cancer bomb that I’ll get to in a minute.  The first thing I fucked was my pants on, like always, then I fucked the maple syrup into my oatmeal.  People think it’s weird to put maple syrup in oatmeal, but I like to pretend I’m eating a million tiny pancakes.

Sometimes, if I feel like I’ve been slacking lately, I’ll change it up and pretend they’re maple-covered shuriken, and that I have been captured by ninjas.  A man in my profession has to be mentally prepared for anything, and there is no telling what ninjas will make you eat a bowl of.  You’re lucky if it’s shuriken and not your own poop.

[spoilers begin here]

I can so get behind a making-the-room-less-freaky-so-I-can-sleep puzzle.

Oh, come on, where is the damn key?  I hate to crack the hints this early.  Oh, wow, no hints even, just a “this game is focused on story and atmosphere more than puzzles,” which is code for “you should really be able to find the damn key.”  Okay, fine.  I will find the damn key.  No I won’t.  Cheating.  Oh, okay, Marissa had it.  There we go.

Yeah, this game is pretty creepy.  I blame Marissa for living in a nondescript, easily-horrorfied house.  This would be a very different game if she had a ceramic Smurfs collection.

I’m a little taken aback by the ornaments. They’re crude and disfigured, limbs out of proportion and faces melted into disturbing expressions – screams, sighs, grimaces. They’re certainly not what I would choose to display in my own living room.
Oh, I guess she does have a ceramic Smurfs collection.  Carry on!

The dining table is so tiny it’s almost square.
Um, I’m not sure things become more square as they get smaller, unless we’re dealing with pixels here.  Which, y’know, I guess no one has specifically stated that we’re not.  Man, that’d be a hell of a reveal, huh?
The dining table is a single pixel wide.  The cuts on my arm lasers begin to itch again as I stare at it.  Beep boop beep 0110101001011010101
Man.  I kind of miss Riverside.

Another key I can’t find.  Sigh.  Of all the games I’ve played so far this comp, this is both the one whose story most interests me, and the one whose story is most stubbornly gated off with bullshit keys I can’t find.  Cheating again.  Oh, okay, behind the calendar.  I could maybe have found that eventually.  Hey, why does she keep it there anyway?  If you live alone and don’t have guests, you don’t really need to lock individual rooms in your house.  If you then acquire a guest and you don’t want them poking around in your study, wouldn’t you take the key with you when you left for the day?  I would.  Then again, I don’t have a study.  Maybe having a study makes you do crazy things.

I bet Marissa’s password is terrible, both from a security standpoint and just as a word.  Although, wait, this is a chick who has password protection on a computer she keeps in a locked study inside a locked house, so maybe it’s pretty good.

Oh, man, get this:  it’s “serenity devoid.”  So, yeah, Marissa’s pretty nuts and Helena probably doesn’t exist.

…huh.  So Helena has been terrorizing and/or already murdered Marissa?  I am confused.  Huh, and it doesn’t matter which conversation option you choose when you talk to her?  Should I look around some more, go for another ending?  Oh, I can’t, because I’m already in the dialogue.  Damn.  Shoulda saved I guess.

Well, hmm.  I kind of hate to say I need things spelled out for me, but I have no idea what just happened.  According to Marissa’s diary, Helena’s been here for a week?  And she didn’t show up on a classmate site?  Did she kill Estelle?  Did Estelle kill her?  Is she a figment of Marissa’s imagination?  Did anybody kill anybody?  What’s up with the mirror?  What’s going arrrrgh oh okay I guess UNDO at the end isn’t enough to let you choose a new ending?  I really should have saved.

Well, huh, I liked it, but now I am confused.  Eight, I think?  Eight sounds like a number, and I could use something concrete right about now.  Yes.  Eight.

6 comments

  1. Isn’t maple syrup in oatmeal pretty mainstream? It’s a Quaker Oats flavor. Well, the flavor is “maple and brown sugar” — as if to say, “The legal department won’t let us say ‘maple syrup’ when no maple syrup has ever got within ten miles of our product, but ‘maple’ is legal for some reason, perhaps because if you eat this you are actually eating a tree.” The only possible opening for maple-relatedness in the ingredients is “natural flavors,” and lord knows what that means.

    …so yeah, I didn’t read your review because I still haven’t played this game past the point where it crashed in Quixe. One thing I’ve discovered about myself this year is I don’t have time to play through the whole IFComp if I’m not actually on leave.


    • Jack Fuckarelli’s opinions do not necessarily reflect those of his parent company. Also, he is better at fucking.

      You should play The Blind House so you can explain it to me!


      • OK, so so far I can explain that I couldn’t find the second key without looking at this very blog post.


      • Bullshit key #1 didn’t actually bug met that much in the end, because, so, I’m a woman who for some weird having-just-killed-a-woman-for-no-reason reason (I assume, haven’t got that far into the game) doesn’t want to sleep in an unlocked bedroom in someone else’s house, I wind up wandering around that house until I find her and ask her for the key, and she thinks I’m kind of a weirdo. Seems pretty in character.


  2. Hm, it did seem to matter which option I chose in the last conversation. I had three options. Off to read some more reviews!


    • I guess which options you have at the end depends on things you’ve done along the way? Anyway, I basically have no idea, but I think I vote for “Helena is the non-innocent part of Marissa’s psyche.” The ending I picked was the one where Helena totally dominates Marissa without killing her, FWIW.



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