The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game

I’ve noticed that the recurring themes of this comp are the Bible and Communism.  Something weird going on in the ol’ collective unconscious, I guess.

Up now we have The People’s Glorious  Revolutionary Text Adventure Game, a z-code game by Taylor Vaughan.  If I have to refer to the game by title again, I’m abbreviating to “TPGRTAG”, because typing it the first time gave me carpal tunnel syndrome.  Observational evidence collected in the last minute says that if you shout the abbreviation at someone you live with (i.e. “TupgerTaag, sexy lady!”), they look at you like you’re having a stroke.

You’ll also note that this is the first review without some kind of subtitle, largely for the same title-is-long-already reason.  Rest assured that it has one in my head, perhaps something like “You see no nuclear wessels here”, or “Oh, I won the people’s bodies, alright.”  Just imagine it there after the title, please.

Let’s crack TPGRTAG open and see what’s inside.

Part One: The Playthrough

Ah, excellent.  This is Communism of the Groucho Marxist school.  I like.

The red light that illuminates the room might cause eye strain and make it hard to work, but it is truly inspiring.
If someone asked me “Quick, write a humorous critique of Communism in one sentence, go!”, this would be my sentence.

> open drawer
You open the drawer, revealing some borscht.
This has to be at least the second oddest thing I’ve ever found in a desk drawer in an IF.  Hopefully it gets out of my inventory quickly, because dammit I can’t spell it to save my life.  Nor can I spell my hat’s name.  Good thing it responds to “hat”.

Oh, frikkin awesome, the game has an actual in-game to-do list.  Wandering around, gotten a comic book in trade for borscht, won the hearts of the masses…

You know, I say (a lot) that I’d like to play more games where you get to wander around trading items with NPCs in an interesting setting.  And then when I actually get to play one, my brain goes “Ahhhhh!  Who do I give this to?? Or this??  What do I do what do I dooo??”.

Oh, huh, there’s a secret basement in the Comradehole that I totally missed somehow.  Oh man, the Ventriloquator is one of the most fun doohickies I’ve ever seen in a game, even though it takes me three tries to type the damn thing’s name.

A child comes in and orders a ridiculously complicated drink. Chambers pulls out a styrofoam cup, sticks it under a nozzle, and hands the customer their drink.
Having worked at Starbucks, I can tell you that’s EXACTLY how it works in real life.  Man, I’m going to have to play through this again and try putting the borscht in the coffee vat, which also relates to my wishes at time of Starbucks employment.

The glue that binds this placard to the desk is as strong as bond between all who believe in the Revolution! It’s unbreakable! This “Ms. Daisy” is apparently expected to remain a part of this vile institution for all eternity.
And if there were an award for “Best Fixed-In-Place Message”, this would garner my vote.

Got everything on the to-do list I think.  Oh crap, counter-revolutionaries!

This is Chambers’ giant vault. In the center is a large pit filled to the brim with money. The vault extends to the north, and a massive vault door stands to the east.
A diving board is bolted over the edge of the pit.
I watched DuckTales as a kid, I know what’s up.

Okay, defeated the villain in a highly ironic fashion, I think we’re done here.  Wait, we’re not done here.

> x device
Which do you mean, the miraculous device, the Communistic Converter or the Marxist Ventriloquator Mk II?
…the one with “device” in it’s name.

Okay, now we’re done.

Part Two: The Rundown

First off, I really liked the game’s tone and humor.  This was another one of those joints like The Flight of the Hummingbird where I couldn’t make too many jokes in the playthrough, because the game already made ’em for me.  And the tone holds up well throughout the game.

This struck me as a fairly well-done old school IF.  There was a definite Zorkian feel to the whole thing, which may be a little dated structurally but is not inherently bad at all.

Kudos also that most of the puzzles had (according to the hint-section I’m now perusing) multiple solves.  That’s always hard to wrap together, but the author managed fairly well here, and I think I’ll be going back through to see what happens with other solves (although I understand that you get in trouble for having to resort to capitalism to get the Manifesto).  Along those lines, the game also had one of the best “non-spoilery general hints” sections I’ve ever seen.  The puzzles also followed their own cartoon logic; I never really felt like any were totally unfair.

Implementation was good for the most part.  A couple of times, I ran into minor guess the verb problems (diving board, Ventriloquator when I forgot it was “point at” instead of “fire at”) that could’ve been smoothed out by a few more “understand as” phrases in the code.  Other than that the implementation seemed solid.  I wished the NPCs had more to say (they responded well to multiple subjects, but a lot of the time those multiple subjects had the same response), but it was passable.

So yeah.  Nothing “revolutionary” here, so to speak, but a fun little game I’d definitely recommend as an afternoon IF-snack.


4 Responses to “The People’s Glorious Revolutionary Text Adventure Game”

  1. einhorn303 Says:

    You can just refer to the Ventriloquator as the “mk ii” and it recognizes it. Saved me a lot of time.

  2. In fact, you can refer to it as the mk. Saves me more time!

    Apparently, if you lose the borscht earlier, you can sell your bracelet to the peddler to solve the Rosalia puzzle, but I can’t seem to make that happen, so.

  3. ^^^
    Apparently, while the hint said “Sell the WWTD bracelet to the peddler”, he meant pawn shop.

  4. Also, borscht can be called bowl; one more useful shortcut 😛

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