(none) Quintin Stone - Interactive Fiction Review
Interactive Fiction
Role-playing Games

Hell: A Comedy of Errors

Author: John Evans
Language: z-code
Genre: Simulation
Score: 7

What happens when you mix the sim game "Afterlife" with IF? You get "Hell: A Comedy of Errors". It certainly has an unusual premise. In fact while playing it, I felt more like I was back in one of my old MUSHes ("multi-user shared hallucination", an online text-based role playing game more or less like a MUD) then a text adventure, because I was digging out rooms and creating objects to place in them. Only in this case, I was in Hell and doing all this to punish the naughty naughty souls I was to receive.

Despite being a unique piece of IF, I found that the actual gameplay failed to live up to its potential. My first attempt started out slow, picked up, and then fizzled out. My choice of gems (for building rooms) disappeared, and there were several gems I couldn't buy due to apparent parser problems. Buying the gems was a blind man's game. There wasn't any information about them that I could find. You only found out what kind of rooms they created afterwards.

Once you start buying rooms and placing tortures and dropping souls, the game kind of lacks direction. The instructions say that you may need to customize tortures to particular souls, but doesn't explain how to do that other than random guessing, i.e. trial and error. After trying out various combinations at random, I finally squeezed out every bit of penance from the souls and won the game. In fact, I didn't even need to buy any of the tortures it listed, I simply used rooms and helpers. While this game could have been a lot better, it seemed a bit rushed and unfinished.

(View this game on Baf's Guide to IF or The IF Ratings Site)

These pages Copyright © 2004-2008 — Contact me at stone@rps.net