IFComp 2007: Orevore Courier   1 comment

Spoiler warning: I give a clarification to one of the puzzles and give general solving advice.

Then some genius back at Transport High Command dreamed up the current system: small, defenseless ships, each crewed by a Pilot to fly it, an Engineer to maintain it, and a Security Officer to blow it up at the first sign of trouble. In theory, the evildoers should quickly learn that orevore couriers are impossible to capture, and cease their attacks. In practice, several ships have been lost while not being attacked. This problem has supposedly been solved, however, by covering the Destruct button with a clear plastic lid and forbidding Security Officers from keeping pets of any kind.

The plot involves space pirates. If that sort of thing offends you, take a pass. Otherwise it was a reasonable anchor to the puzzles, and while the prose did nothing spectacular it never got in the way either.

In the right mood I can solve this sort of high-precision puzzle game (lots of replays and important timing). Here I had the right general plan of what to do but I just couldn’t implement it. Part of my issue was with the odd controls, which caused Bad Frustration rather than Good Frustration1 (specifically, I thought XMIT would transmit what was in the queue but it just set things so PLAY will transmit; this is indicated in the text but it’s counterintuitive). There was another time where I had done a sequence correctly before but failed to understand why it wasn’t working in my current playthrough (I was short one WAIT command).

So while I admire the technical care in this game I didn’t get to enjoy it. Here’s some advice so you don’t have to be like me:

  • Keep track of how many turns it takes for someone to complete a particular action.
  • Work out the use of the controls carefully. I pointed out XMIT above; LOCK is also counterintuitive.
  • You’ll probably need your own personal walkthrough before you can finish. Don’t try to keep track of this in your head, otherwise you might do like I did and drop a WAIT causing the whole process to fall down.

1I haven’t worked out a technical definition yet, but Good Frustration is the kind of stuck where I haven’t seen a puzzle possibility even though I have all the parts, whereas Bad Frustration involves misunderstand the description of a room, missing an item or room exit, or being misled by an error message. This definition fails because Orevore Courier‘s problem wasn’t any of these; it was Bad more by the criterion of my struggling for 20 minutes, looking at the hints, and making a little growly noise.

Posted November 7, 2007 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

One response to “IFComp 2007: Orevore Courier

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  1. Pingback: Adventureland: The Final Three | Renga in Blue

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