IFComp 2014: Icepunk   1 comment

Your Habitat is a huge complex designed to house a bustling, self-sufficient human society. The reality, though, is that your habitat runs like music that has gone on long after the singers have fallen silent. M8 forever fulfills its countless imperatives that now serve a “society” with a population of just 1.

I really wanted to like this one. Icepunk gave me a early-90s-BBS-door-game vibe with the ANSI art (as seen below; the writing is vivid as well). However, I couldn’t even bring myself to finish.


Unfortunately, here’s how the mechanics work:

You need to gather “data” to revive a computer, M8. This requires using a map interface to move step-by-step on a large grid.


Each location you can “enter” at which point you may or may not find something interesting. Some of the locations let you “gather data”. You have a capacity of “10 TB” and when that is full you need to go back to the original habitat to add your data to the computer. Each TB adds a percent: you need 100 percent.

In practice this results in an incredibly tedious process of checking the map square-by-square, then clicking slowly your way back to the habitat once your data is full (or even before that — encounters that go over 10 TB result in overflow).

This might be workable if the map was full of interesting encounters, but instead the game plays like an RPG with all the encounters removed. It is possible one simple fix might make things better — if the player was allowed to click anywhere on the map rather than merely the adjacent square. There seems to be no advantage to forcing players to click square-by-square to reach a destination. As is unfortunately the game is unplayable.

Posted October 4, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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  1. Pingback: IF Comp 2014: Icepunk (page13oy) | Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling

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