IF Comp ’11 – Andrew Metzger’s Fog Convict!

October 31, 2011

I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I missed me.  Let’s play a game.

The blurb on this one makes it hard to tell if it’s a thriller or a comedy.  A thrilledy.  A Phyllis Thriller.

I am ridiculously proud of that last joke.  Moving along!

[spoilers start here]

Oooh, nice campus map!  It looks real.  Is LeTourneau University an actual school?  The internet says yes.  I bet all its corridors are finite though.  (My approval rating among MIT nerds just went up 5%, although Kevin’s still pissed at me for giving him that swirly.  I still say he should not have looked at me funny during rush week.)

Uh-0h!  Something’s on fire!  I’d better examine everything in the room to see if it has an amusing description!

>x cans
Once filled with life-giving, caffeine-filled liquids, they now stand as a shining testament of your roommate’s utter disregard for the trashcan you carefully placed by his bed.
Dude, recycle that shit.  Come on.  It’s the future.

The window used to be able to open, but ever since you broke the handle off, it is only useful for looking through.
This window is made out of hard rock candy.

What the crap, school, why are all these doors locked?  What if there were a fire?

A drinking fountain is built into the south wall, beside the lobby door.
>x fountain

I don’t know the word “fountain”.
>x drinking
I don’t know the word “drinking”.
>x drinking fountain
I don’t know the word “drinking”.
What do you want to drink?
I don’t know the word “water”.
>drink from fountain
I don’t know the word “fountain”.

Getting the sense that this is one of those games where a real-world location was lovingly rendered in all its many-roomed glory at the expense of density, tightness, and flow.   (Setting your IF in a real place isn’t bad in itself, mind you, it can be really cool if done right.)  Man, you know what?  I’m going to institute a new rule, since I’m feeling all gubernatorial.  I’m going to call it Polodna’s Rule of You Have Too Many Freaking Rooms Already.  Here is how it works:  if you compare two rooms in your game and are unable to find three differences between them (exits don’t count!) then one of them is extraneous and you should axe the fucker.  Corollary to this rule:  if you’re reading this thinking “yes, but what about mazes, there should be an exception for those,” you should bear in mind that absolutely no one wants you to put a maze in your game and anyone who claims they do is a weirdo or lying.  We good here?

Not getting very far in this game.  All the doors are locked except the fire door, which mysteriously just won’t open, and the lobby is pitch black.  I’m calling walkthrough.  Yes.  Already.


The homework paper smolders a little, but you succeed in opening the door before the heat becomes unbearable.
It didn’t, wait, no, hold up a minute, it didn’t tell me the bathroom door was hot, it said it was locked, and asked me what I wanted to unlock it with.

Specific failure messages for interacting with things go down a lot more smoothly than “[whatever it is] isn’t important,” for the record.

Overflowing the toilet to put out the fire is a fun solution, but it would have been nice to get more direction away from the shower, or, hey, have multiple puzzle solutions even.

I kind of like that the shampoo and the soap have narrative justification for their untakeability, instead of simply being too unimportant to bother with.

Wait.  One of the closets is missing?  How do you misplace a closet?  Did someone put it inside the other closet by mistake?  Are we in Recursive Closet Hell?

Oh!  I never tried this lobby door because I was too focused on the drinking fountain next to it that the game claimed to know nothing about.

>pull switch
Pulling the light switch doesn’t have any effect.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>flip switch
I don’t know how to flip the light switch.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>use switch
I don’t know the word “use”.
>switch switch
I don’t know how to switch the light switch.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>push switch
Pushing the light switch doesn’t do anything.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>turn switch
Turning the light switch doesn’t have any effect.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>screw switch
You see no way to do that.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>make switch be on instead of off
I don’t know the word “make”.
>move switch
You can’t move the light switch.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>alter binary state of switch
I don’t know the word “alter”.
>compose soothing lullaby for switch
I don’t know the word “compose”.
>eat switch
The light switch doesn’t appear appetizing.
The fire alarm beeps loudly.
>torment switch until it makes its own gravy
I don’t know the word “torment”.
>it’s okay, I don’t know the word “gravy”
I don’t know the word “it’s”.
>turn switch on
You flip the switch. A few floresent bulbs in the lobby dimly flicker to life. After a short struggle, all but one turns back off.
(Also?  Fluorescent.  I would have spelled it “flourescent” myself.  Gotta remember that flour is to bulb as crying is to baseball.*)

A key!  Huzzah!  I hope it’s the key to EVERY FUCKING ROOM!

…so far it’s turning out to be the key to no fucking room.

Man, I feel honor-bound to play through this thing until I’ve at least seen a convict.  I was promised a convict.  I was told there would be punch and pie.

Who keeps their flashlight in the fridge?  Well, I guess it beats keeping your weed stash in a band-aid box.  Take notes, Eyes Wide Shut!**

Following the walkthrough:
>open fire door

The door is already open.
You’ll have to open the fire door first.
I don’t want to play this game anymore.  Please don’t make me.

* There’s no crying in baseball.

** I really hated Eyes Wide Shut.  Maybe instead of saying mean things about competition games this year I will rip on Eyes Wide Shut so hard that it needs to go get a band-aid but all it finds is weed.  That’ll learn it.  Fucking Eyes Wide Shut.


  1. Dear Sir or Madam,

    I’m sorry you didn’t like my film. Maybe you will like “Dr Strangelove” better; it has Slim Pickens in it and he is pretty funny.

    By the way I think you forgot to tag this post with any tags.

    • Tags fixed, thanks. I liked that movie you did where that guy bludgeons that woman to death with that penis-looking bit of modern sculpture, although I would be hard-pressed to explain why.

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