Posted 11 January 2000 to rec.games.int-fiction
Here's my mini-review of Adam Cadre's new game "9:05". Copy-n-pasted from
* * SPOILERS * *
What a jarring jolt.
I would like to know what sort of reaction the player who thought to look under the bed had upon solving this game. I passed up the opportunity to take a peek underneath. As a result, my first play through the game ended with shock and surprise. If there's an equivalent to being nonplussed when you're sitting at a keyboard, I was it.
The game is quite short. There are only a few things you can do and Adam does an excellent job of pointing the player in the right direction. Dirty? Obviously go take a shower and change clothes. Need to sign a form? Well, there it is. Along with a pen. You don't play this game for the puzzles.
It's the plot where the game shines. Although extremely short (longer and more detailed than "Speed IF", but shorter than a competition game), it still has a chance to tell a little story. The first ending, as I indicated above, came as a complete surprise to me because I failed to look under the bed. If I had, I would have gotten a different shock, but not quite as intense.
The strange part about this game is that the optimal ending for the protagonist is not the optimal ending for the game. The player gets a longer game by having the PC pretend to be something he isn't and, at the end, is rewarded with an amusing news story based on the events that transpire. When playing for the protagonsit, however, the player is given a simple, curt ending that does little more than say "you have escaped."
Suffice to say, this little twist makes what otherwise would be a pedestrian little contribution to the IF world into a game which seems to have a perpetual smirk on its face. Recommended.
This article copyright © 2000, Mark Musante