Reviewed by Lurd(Lenny Pitts)
Game Title: WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A FIRETRUCK
Author: Rob Noyes
Release: Released as part of speedIF 6 which took place on ifMUD on 11/27/1999
While reading through some Trotting Krips reviews I came across this statement in Robb's review of Rob Noyes' game "Pick up the Phone Booth and Die":
"Why the hell isn't Rob Noyes writing more adventure games? No, really. I want an answer. A good one, too, involving car chases, machinegun fire and dopplegangers. More to the point: I want another damn game."
Well, Robb, I am happy to report that Mr. Noyes has managed to evade those evil machine gun-toting doppelgangers for at least two hours, because he has written a speedIF game. For those who are not familiar with the concept, speedIF is a group activity where people write games in two hours featuring a couple of shared themes. SpeedIF6 featured a rather long list of objects to include (for speedIF), but for the sake of this review I am only going to mention one, "include a roller coaster". There is another significant object that all the games written for speedIF 6 shared, but to list it here would spoil the fun of the game's primary puzzle.
The game starts out at the Seaside Amusement Park, which you are told has "got your most favorite roller coaster of all time - it's to the north." Of course, riding the coaster is not as easy as getting in line, so you have to wander around the park and find a 'ticket to ride'. (Note: The solution to the puzzle is not to find an actual ride ticket, I just couldn't resist quoting the Beatles.)
The setting is very well realized for a game written in two hours. It is only a handful of locations, including the midway and the funhouse, but they contribute greatly to the atmosphere of the game. Rob has added many small touches that give the park a rundown feel, while maintaining the ability to see how great the park was in an earlier era beneath the faded paint and broken down amusements.
The game play is straightforward. Players should have no trouble finishing the game in one sitting (I would guess 15 minutes tops). Despite the brevity, the primary puzzle is very satisfying, and there are many humorous authorial comments mixed in along the way. I would certainly recommend this game to anyone with a few minutes to kill.
Oh, I lied earlier in the review when I said I was only going to give away one of the shared design elements of the speedIF 6 games. An additional requirement was to include a game location on an iceberg. The only reason I mention this, is that the iceberg requirement does not really fit in with the rest of the game. Once you get past the main puzzle of the game, you are shuttled off to this required location where there is one final pseudo-puzzle to close out the game. Now this is to be expected from speedIF because the point is to be silly, but because the main part of the game is so well done the ending really stands out like a sore thumb. Despite the fact that it doesn't fit in, the ending is still semi-amusing in a PUTPBAD kind of way.
To get the game, browse to http://www.plover.net/~gschmidl/speedif/index.html then click on the SpeedIF6 link to download speedif6.zip. The game file inside of the zipped archive is named speed.z5.
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