Sins Against Mimesis / Adam Thornton (1997)

Neil K. Guy's Verdict: What? Freaking hell. Fuck off, Thorton.

Raif Veteran's Verdict: An entertaining little endeavor featuring highlights from IF's past.

My Verdict: Maybe if there is a sequel Deanna will get lust?

Game Information

Game Type: Inform

Author Info: Adam "Bruce" Thornton is a veteran contributor, follower and supporter of interactive fiction.

Other Games By This Author:

Download Link:


The Review...

I've probably said some things I'd like to take back over Usenet. Dejanews (damn them) makes certain to archive everything so that when the day comes and I reproduce my questioning, cherubic spawn will look at me with their trusting and large eyes and shudder, "You thought the 99 Saints were going to the playoffs? You stupid fuck. Tell me I'm adopted, papa!" They will call me "papa" as well, just like how the future is depicted by the guys writing for Jean-Luc Picard. It will be so beautiful and so touching.

Neil Guy probably wishes he had this one back as well regarding mimesis: "I think it's a kind of houseplant. You can get both linear and variegated types. Handle low light well." I say that only because Adam Thornton later wrote a video game called Sins Against Mimesis and included that line as a pop-up quote when you look at the plant.

Adam Thornton is a funny guy. He's one of the people whom you always click on when you get your message headers through or rec.arts-int-fiction because in addition to whatever point he's making he will probably cause you to at least slightly chuckle with laughter. In 1996 Roger Giner-Sorolla wrote an essay in raif entitled "Crimes Against Mimesis" detailing the various ways that authors can and do fracture a player's ability to get lost in their world. Good luck trying to find the original article, by the way. The story, then, behind Sins Against Mimesis is that you have Neil Guy's described plant. And you are going to commit the seven deadly sins against it.

Thornton describes his world with a sort of smart-alec apathy commonly found in games by Ben Parrish and anything by Take Two Interactive. We are made well aware of the fact that the author has the power to implement, say, a fully-functional sink and shower but it would add absolutely nothing to the game. So he didn't. The writing contains some clever bits -- the Devil's description is vivid through reference -- and as each sin is completed against the mimesis plant you get a disk that represents the sin you just committed. Pretty funny. It would be interesting to guess  which IF disks would represent the various sins today, but here are some suggestions:

1. Pride: Once and Future
2. Wrath: Once and Future
3. Sloth: Once and Future
4. Avarice: Once and Future
5. Gluttony: Once and Future
6. Envy: Once and Future
7. Lust: Blow Job Drifter

I'm just kidding. Moist for Lust. But Anyway. The puzzles aren't exactly obvious but there are so few objects with which to interact with in the first part of the game that you can't help but figure them out eventually. Those of us who have had lazy Methodist upbringings will appreciate the hint menu that lists all the sins and then requires a secondary command for hints on those sins. "Lust" is a freaking sin? Who knew?

After showing the Devil that you are a damnable sinner you are free to leave the building. It's kind of a let-down, however. Yes, there are more in-jokes and references (to Curses and Doom, kind of). And mimesis the concept is definitely shattered, however it has a feeling of disconnectedness, as if it were kind of like two games in one.

Sins Against Mimesis is probably best recommended as a game newbies should play after they have kicked around the hobby for a bit and have the intention of becoming hardcore. It's one of those games, like Photopia and Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die that will give you an extensive IF vocabulary with which to understand and converse with.

One last thing: play it in "lewd" mode, baby. Aces!



Simple Rating: 8.0 / 10

Complicated Rating:

Story: 7.2 / 10

Writing: 8.7 / 10

Playability: 9.0 / 10 (the hint system is comphrensive and excellent. You can't get stuck)

Puzzle Quality: 4.4 / 10

Parser Responsiveness: 8.8 / 10

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