Cobra's Verdict: Hey... didn't we try selling a cheap piece of plastic molding called the "terrordrome" once?
Kent Tessman's Verdict: Ah! A new Hugo game that is not either morally reprehensible or designed specifically to annoy? Excellent.
My Verdict: Jon is going to write the funniest game of the year at some point, but this one isn't long enough for consideration.
Game Type: Hugo
Author Info: Jonathan Blask -- otherwise known by his nom de plume of Roody Yogurt -- is one of those funny, talented bastards that hangs out on the RFTK forum, and has written reviews for both Mark Musante's IF Review Site and Home of the Underdogs.
Other Games By This Author: Death To My Enemies
Download Link: http://www.plover.net/~ellison/hugo/anne.hex
There's a revolution coming, you see.
System advocacy doesn't get enough proper respect here at Reviews From Trotting Krips. In the old days -- when people were ripping the living shit out of one another within Fidonet, for dialup Bulletin Board Systems, you had to search for debates like Creation v Evolution, Pro-Choice v Anti-Abortion and the IBM PC & 100% Compatibles v the Commodore Amiga. Now, a simple trip to the Straight Dope Message Board will allow you to see all those debates at absolutely anytime you desire by clicking a mouse -- you don't even have to make a phone call. But there is one thing missing...
And that's the funny.
It's gone! It was never there! The smug and erudite posters killing each other in time-honored, impassioned debates simply can not arrange English words into an order that can elicit continual chuckles, much less pleasurable snorts of deep belly laughter. And system advocacy within the fields of interactive fiction is just as bad. Some clown writing "mrofni skcus" into his competition game hardly qualifies as even trying.
Anne and the Terrordrome of Evil isn't really about system advocacy, really. At least, I don't think that the author is attempting anything more than what he says he is -- his first game in a new language. But where this game has some merit is in the demonstrated ease of construction of non-player characters. If you're of the opinion that the 'NPC' offers a glimpse into the future of What's Fun About Text Adventures, than this game, and Aggravation: Annoyotron II (and other longer ones like Spur and Guilty Bastards) show that getting characters moving about, doing things, following the PC (as Dave does in 'Terrordrome) are so easy and straightforward that an author new to the language can pick them up and implement them without extreme difficulty.
Now that this review has gone from misty-eyed pabulum in its own right, to a commercial for Hugo, it's time to actually tackle the game itself: it's short, there's not a whole lot going on, and it's guaranteed to be one from 2001 that you can actually win. You, the player character (perhaps an avatar for Yogurt himself?) requires the help of Anne, to enter the Terrordrome. Why? It's not said. Much like Blask's previous entry Death To My Enemies, the player isn't given mounds of backstory with which to greedily devour. There are a couple of lines that received a grin and/or chuckle from this reviewer, at least, as a time-honored tradition of IF characters not really liking each other is implemented well.
And on the downside? There are some formatting problems, and the game -- as many mini-comp games do -- suffers from a sort of craterized idea of depth: you know that there are things that Dave and Anne will discuss, but trying to get all of them is has a low signal-to-noise ratio.
What did we learn here, today? While I suspect that Blask will eventually throw his talents into another game of at least Competition size, in the meantime it's amusing to step into a snapshot of his world, like we do in 'Terrordrome, for even a few moments. Also: nothing livens up a good abortion debate like dead baby jokes. Also: the PCjr r3wlz j00.
Simple Rating: NA
Complicated Rating: NA
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