IFComp 2007: Jealousy Duel X   Leave a comment

This is that Flash game where the Mac version inexplicably only works on Classic.

Wouldn’t releasing the original Flash file be easier? Oh well. On to the review.

You find a familiar-looking plastic heart under the bed. It’s the light-up valentine Ex gave you last year! YOU GOT A PLASTIC HEART! But it’s worth noting that the batteries are dead. Metaphor city.

When I first played this game, my spastic clicking skills somehow skipped me past the intro and I didn’t realize there was any sort of objective. I assumed it was one of those random-insane-humor CYOA games where the whole point was to click around and read funny stuff. Then I noticed the ‘dating sim’ element and also decided this was actually a parody of dating sims and it was impossible to get any dates. Hence, the lack of save game was a brilliant move — it unhooked the player from any desire to retry options, and let them simply enjoy the experiential flow of silliness.

Then I discovered the truth. Oops.

Really, it’s a pity, because there’s some good chunks of funny in here. In one case just the possible choices made me laugh.

Sometimes the humor has a good intro but the finish falls flat:

Hoping against all hope, you try to cast a spell on the big fella, but you either don’t have magic powers, or you’re low on MP. The Big Fella attacks! ‘ULTIMATE ATTACK: BULLY OF THE BEAST!’ He punches you in the face and you go flying into the parking lot.

Trying to use magic in a world universe with none: funny. Attempt at giving the move a kung-fu name: not funny. I wish I could be more precise than that. Humor is a bear to analyze, and it’s so subjective; someone probably laughed orange soda out of their nose as they read the excerpt above.

Of course, all this is undercut by the game requiring 100+ replays to figure out the right choices and win. I will look forward to the walkthrough.

Posted October 18, 2007 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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