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

The Case of Samuel Gregor

Author: Stephen Hilderbrand
Language: z-code
Genre: Surreal mystery
Score: 5

"The Case of Samuel Gregor" starts with a very long cut-scene intro, meanders into typical IF fare, and then spirals downwards into a confusing jumble. There are a number of separate threads that all contribute to this sense of bewilderment. The mix of German and English wasn't completely disabling; it was just a bit frustrating and certainly didn't lend itself to clarity. Numerous technical problems drove away any semblance of immersion. The black hole pockets of the trench coat never let you retrieve anything you put in them. This would have been okay if the coat hadn't been the only solution to the game's inventory limit. In one room, I tried to "examine all" and, after the two Inform errors appeared, I was greeted with, "You see nothing special about the nothing." The description of the small key read: "It is nondescript, except that it it nondescript." Uhm, right. Trying to go in an invalid direction got me, "Dear colleague, going that direction would take you out of this story!" Actually, no, it would have taken me into a wall.

But even without these technical glitches, the basic premise of the plot was baffling. I got the sense that there was much more to the story than the game let on and there didn't seem to be any way to figure out what that was. My actions were continually restricted without any explanation as to why. And halfway through the game, I switch identities... without even knowing it! This game doesn't just break mimesis, it grinds it into a fine powder and scatters the particles to the four winds.

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

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