IF Comp ’13 – Andrew Schultz’s Threediopolis!

March 12, 2014

Against all odds, here is a last year’s comp game review!  Cue this music, which always makes me feel like I’m returning triumphantly from something.  We got the Megatome & we are the smartest.

[spoilers begin here; self-fellationation also ends here; fellationation is totally a word; witness my new book Fellatio Nation]


–friends: pal@346, pal (English name)@335, near pal (Scottish-Canadian)@455, pal@355, pal@535, near pal@444, pal (German)@544, far frieeend@356, pal@434
–extra near: Visit total party-cave@355, Wet grass@344, Chat w/web srvr@344, Visit online univ. HQ@445, Stop Something@355, Retro gm comp@445, A powerful hinty spying telescope@436, Fix holes in my clothes@434, Soak Up Vitamin D@544
–near: Latin Mass@435, New&used Clothes@334, Sheep’s milk@435, TV Info show@444, A conventional convent@554, Deploy package@345, Handmade clothes with love in every stitch-1@444, Smokeless tobacco@534, Root Beer &/or Cream Soda@424, New Linux system–boo Windows 27@525, Get a free hint@514
–kinda near: pay property tax@236, cowboy hat & boots@335, sandy beaches@445, ART not porn@445, garden startup materials@326, handmade clothes with love in every stitch-2@335, cheapish leathery clothes@436, Matchmaker for singles@454, visit that vacant lot I loved as a kid@335
–kinda far: Return to Ed Dunn for evaluation and reward@365, Smell/taste test@426, book Scandinavian vacation@345, Invisible Institute docs@556, brand new stuff-in-general@545, new bride/groom stuff@145, anti-athletic club@514
–far: unworn clothes boutique@344, improperly vowelled hot dog hut@447
–extra far: 2nd-hand clothing boutique@325

What the fuck am I looking at?

No.  Seriously.  What the fuck am I looking at.  I just woke up and I haven’t had my kombucha.  I have also, since we last spoke, become a person who drinks kombucha, although not as regularly as the phrase “haven’t had my kombucha” would imply.  I am staring at an empty bottle of Passionberry Bliss flavor, though, then looking back at this game, and I kind of want to go get a kombucha.  This is how they get you.  Andrew Schultz is in league with the kombucha people.  I’ve figured it out, I hiss at you from an alley, clutching your lapels, leaving flecks of spit on the side of your nose.  I’ve.  Figured.  It.  Out.

Except I haven’t figured any fucking thing out, in regards to what I am looking at.  I’ll be right back.

Okay.  I have been to the store in yoga pants (so as to blend in and not attract attention) and I have purchased a kombucha, coconut lime hibiscus flavor, and it is, I will not say glorious per se, but on the gloriousness scale it ranks greater than zero.  Lemme look at this damn game again.

Oh!  Wait!  I think I accidentally got one, and I think I get it… directions you type correspond to their actual English letter in an actual English word, and typing the word indicated by the clue dumps you out at the corresponding @location.  Thanks, kombucha!

Yeah.  This is going all right now.  “Sheep’s milk” as a clue for EWES bothers me; are the clues on the list not straight-up synonyms for the words I’m supposed to type?  That is worrisome.

On the plus side, there is a Big Lebowski reference.  So, y’know.

Stopped by Ed’s and had him alphabetize my list, which is making all of this a lot easier.

Guys.  Guys.  I just bought a cowboy hat for my big mysterious package.

I am not sure how to feel about these clues.  They’re not straight-up synonyms — for “cowboy hat and boots” I had to type DUDES — they’re more like hints in the correct direction.  Which is fine, straight-up synonyms would be too on-the-nose and you’d dilute the moment of insight which is what makes this kind of puzzle fun, but it gives the whole thing a loosey-goosiness that bothers my OCD.  Mine.  Personally.

I would expand on this, but I told Sam Ashwell I’d write up Best Puzzles for the XYZZYs, and I don’t want to shoot my wad too soon.  For one thing, I’d ruin my cowboy hat.

From the list, it looks like Ed wants you to punk them instead. Plus, you think you know what “Voluntary Population Control” might mean. So, it’d be better to knock instead, wouldn’t it?
I… what?  I think I just stink-bombed an abortion clinic, or possibly a suicide booth?  Either one is surprisingly dark for this game.  Dark, you guys!

However, your package is frisked,
No comment.

Oh man! There’s people playing, not just emulated NES games, but the real thing! With a power glove, too!
I love the glove.  It’s so bad.  I also love the movie The Wizard with Fred Savage and Jenny Lewis who grew up to be the lead singer of a hipster band.  I had the biggest crush on Jenny Lewis who grew up to be the lead singer of a hipster band.  She can do the Frug, you know.  She can do the Robocop.

Hmm. You’ve got 90%. That should be enough for Ed. You hope. There may be some unfair ones in there. You could probably go see him any time, now.

But he also introduces you to another messenger he has hired. Denese (or Sed. I forgot to ask your preference) Senn.
My preference is for the one who can do the Robocop.  I am never given that option on dating sites and it makes me sad.

I had a lot of fun with this game, once I figured out it was a word puzzle instead of a what the fuck is this I don’t even know.


  1. It’s a suicide booth. (You can go in, but it ends the game.) When you think about it on a non-wordplay based level, which is not the way to think about it, the world of this game is pretty fucked up in a lot of ways!

    Also, did you notice that “looking in the middle of the journey is useless” is a pun/extremely obscure clue that you won’t get until after you need it?

    • NO!!! That’s brilliant!

  2. What is kombucha, anyway?

    • This fermented hippie tea shit.

      • Cha meaning “tea,” kom meaning “three bucks a,” bu meaning “bottle.”

  3. Hey, wow, thanks for this! It is unexpected and appreciated. I didn’t want to comment until after XYZZY award voting, so here goes.

    It looks like you pointed out some text I slipped in for revision 2, which makes me smile because 1) they got noticed and 2) what was there before was worse.

    I’d still REALLY like to let the player see as much/little of the list as they want for release 3 (which lets you track down the scenery–80 places now–like the Lebowski reference, but very challenging.) I have to consider all the ways to view the list, though, which means lots of coding, testing and stuff breaking.

    Also, congrats to Matt W for noticing “useless.” I added that on September 25th or so after poking at my english-words text file.

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