"Delightful Wallpaper"

Thu Nov 23, 2006

I recently finished this entry in the most recent Interactive Fiction competition. The game, written by Andrew Plotkin, noted IF auteur, under the pseudonym Edgar O. Weyrd (anagram of “Edward Gorey”), has two section: the first is the best IF-implementation of a Rhem-like game I’ve ever played. While nowhere near as complex or difficult as the aforementioned graphical puzzlers, which I first learned about from Plotkin’s reviews of, it is tricky. The game has a unique feature of keeping track of all the changes your movements make through the house, which is both nifty and difficulty-reducing.

The second section is less difficult and involves, after having established mastery over the house’s subjective architecture, establishing a chain of intentions that will lead most of the guests to murder each other or otherwise die (via nervous exhausation precipitated by the overuse of a most curious oscillic device in one, perhaps not altogether Goreyite, case) in pursuit of the Weyrd legacy. Apparently there are several endings, though I only found one and was happy to do that without consulting the walkthrough. (I still have not solved Rhem II, though I haven’t looked at it in several months. Many games of this type are extraordinarily difficult to solve without hints (though I did this one), and I enjoy looking through the archives of rec.games.int-fiction and rec.arts.int-fiction looking for real and imagined histories of people’s attempts to do so.