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


Author: Peter Seebach and Kevin Lynn
Language: z-code
Genre: Old-school puzzle
Score: 10

I'm lucky. I'm lucky because I am the intended audience of "Janitor". The game is rife with in-jokes about nearly all the Infocom games of old, the ones I know and love. At heart, it is a parody of the classic treasure hunts Zork and Zork 2, though it doesn't stop there.

The game starts with the familiar "*** You have won. ***" that any text adventure player will easily recognize. At that, the work is only starting for you, the janitor. Your job, you soon come to realize, is to pick up after all those rigorous game testers who have already gone through the adventure, solved all the puzzles and collected all the treasures. Figuring this out, what your goal actually is and the point of the mop, are probably the game's only stumbles, as they're not abundantly clear. But in no time I was mopping footprints, resetting puzzles, relocating treasures, and generally returning the game to its original pristine condition.

Or... was I? In an interesting twist, the authors also threw in a murder mystery for us to solve, so now they've tied in the classic Infocom mysteries of Deadline, Witness, and Suspect. "Janitor" isn't exactly easy. Sometimes reverting puzzles back can be nearly as tricky as solving them. The mystery portion is a bit more challenging than the rest of the game, and I did have to resort to the hints on several occasions. But I never felt that any puzzle was unreasonably difficult or any clue was senselessly cryptic. As a result, I scored this as my favorite game of the competition.

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

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