Perilous Magic  / David Fillmore (1999)

Forburn the Wily's Verdict: I don't play games. I don't "play" anything.

The Zork Zero Jester's Verdict: Heh. In-jokes abound!

My Verdict: I didn't understand this game. Then I re-read my Enchanter manual. Then I laughed.


Game Information

Game Type: Inform

Author Info: David Fillmore writes games that I like, but they are very short and I often and not very good at them. However, to actually find out about the man himself, and not my incessant mewling, go to his homepage:

Other Games By This Author: Spodgeville Murphy & The Jeweled Eye of Wossname

Download Link:


The Review...

(Attention. This review contains a critical spoiler for this game!)

Working in a tedious job in the real world has absolutely no benefits. Oh, sure, a guy like Albert Einstein will tell you that since reviewing everyone's awful patent ideas took no brainpower whatsoever so he was able to dream merrily about special relativity. And Joe Thiesman will tell you that a guy like Norman Einstein was able to dream merrily about special relativity because reviewing everyone's awful patent ideas took no brainpower whatsoever. This is because Joe Thiesman is a moron and Albert Einstein is a genius. David Fillmore lies somewhere in between.

Much in the same way I acquired a "rep" throughout interactive fiction after my first two games (I believe it was, to be exact, "You are a filthy misogynist who writes buggy games," although the phrases "sex-starved" and "unfunny fruit" may have been fully-registered members of said rep package and not simply junior interns added on later for effect )   Mr. Fillmore is acquiring a reputation with me personally: i.e., I want his games to be longer so the good times keep coming at a fast and furious pace. Instead, I start to get going with them and find out that they are over much too quickly, as if it has just been some Great Tease.

Perilous Magic is a game about a throwaway line in one of Infocom's Enchanter trilogy of games. I confess to being a sucker for this kind of thing. You see, once upon a time some jackass inadvertently cast a spell that would turn a city into a fiery rubble when in fact he meant to cast one that would turn a report into triplicate. In Perilous Magic, you get to BE that jackass! Not for very long, though, as the game is quite short. As in, if you spend more than five minutes with it you are either painfully unaware that Inform games around 65kb in size do not have much content or simply trying all the AMUSING commands at the end of the game so you can write an effective review.

So, then. David obviously has a good sense of humor and can write well. You'll probably get the joke in one of two places -- either you played the Enchanter games already and you get your right now, or else you play Perilous Magic first and then chuckle halfway through Spellbreaker when it all comes together. With the sheer size and anonymity of the internet, on an individual basis you just never know! Hopefully he'll be able to tie everything together for a longer game at some point, and not just because his bitchy and whiny fan base demand such things, no, it's because I'm convinced that it will be quite good.



Simple Rating: 7.6 / 10

Complicated Rating:

Story: 4 / 10

Writing: 5.5 / 10

Playability: 6.8 / 10

Puzzle Quality: 8.0 / 10 (One puzzle. And it made me laugh after I understood it. That's batting 1.000 in my book. Or, uh, 8.0/10 in my book. Something, anyway.)

Parser Responsiveness: 6 / 10


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