The Night of the Vampire Bunnies

The Night of the Vampire Bunnies, written by Jason Dyer and ported to Inform by some weirdo named Patrick Kellum(1997)

The Little Ugly Evil Guy On My Shoulder's Verdict: I forkin' hate bunnies. They should all be forced to die a cruel death.

The Little Good Guy On My Shoulder's Verdict: I like bunnies. This game? Uh, no.

My Verdict: Bunnies are cool, and so is this game, strangely enough.

To quote fellow reviewer of interactive fiction Baf's(otherwise known as he who gave The Night of the Vampire Bunnies two stars) enthused description of Anchorhead, "This is Lovecraft inspired horror at its best." Or maybe not. But it's pretty good for a compact, smallish game, and remarkably good for a game written by a TEN YEAR OLD. I've never played the original GBASIC version of the game, or even the revised QBASIC version of the game which were both written in the 80s probably, but this Inform port is really nice. By the way, how many games written by ten year olds do you think would inspire someone to spend their time porting said game to Inform? Not too many, lemme tell ya. This is, in short, really good pre-pubescent interactive fiction. Compared to all interactive fiction ever made, well, it's slightly above average but not that great. Still worthy of being reviewed and played, however. As a matter of fact, I'm hoping to get an interview with the elusive Jason Dyer sometime soon, and it'll probably help my cause if I kiss his ass in this review. Hah! Only joking.

The game is about a vampire bunny, though the title sillily suggests that is about several vampire bunnies(in the plural, see?). All you have to do is stop the bunny before it kills everybody off. The game is short, and the descriptions are very minimalistic: tight, clipped sentences are the norm, and there simply put are NO long descriptions of any kind at all. The plot is interesting and unpredictable. Not cliched though it does feature a few standard elements common to the horror idiom: the vampire-in-the-coffin, the skeleton-guarding-the-door, the combustible ooze, the mutated rodent, and other stuff. The puzzles are obscure and a bit difficult, though quite logical. The parser is downright weak, however - a couple locations left me stumped for minutes just because I couldn't guess the right verb/noun combination. In particular, the well scene is poorly done because unless the crank is turned, the game will simply not respond to the player's attempts to enter it, which may make the player think that he can't go in the well at all. All in all, though, the game is quite fun, fresh, and enjoyable to play. The Inform copy comes with hints and a walkthrough, too, so you don't have to worry about getting stuck.

Finally, the game author is still active in the world of interactive fiction. He contributed games to both the '95 and '96 competitions at least(which are also pretty good), and maybe wrote some others, too. This is why I'm planning to interview him, see?

Simple Rating: 6/10

Complicated Rating: 28.5

Story: 6/10

Writing: 5/10

Playability: 6/10

Puzzle Quality: 6.5/10

Parser Responsiveness: 5/10

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