Posted by: Ben | October 7, 2009

if: The Hangover

An Adrift game in IF Comp 09 by Red conine

There is a movie of this name. I have not seen it. Review below.

Your headache becomes worse as you look at the white tile of the, well, its supposed a bathroom. I suppose because you have your toothbrush here on your sink and a… my god thats a toilet! I couldn’t tell. You might want to look at your sink. Your proud of this? To the west is Your Bedroom.

At last, a bad game. I was starting to worry.

We’ve all woken up in an ill-loking bed with a horrid hangover, no asprin and a strange women sleeping on the couch, so really this is a game for everybody.  The Hangover is a classic example of a competition game wherein an author allows his imagination to outrun his competence.  It makes virtually every mistake you would expect such a game to make, and a few you wouldn’t.  It would therefore be mean to criticise it, so I shall let it speak for itself.


Women avoids your feeble attempts.

Could this be the best unintentional response of the year?


A green plastic chair. One of three. This would be the 21st century my friend, not the 80s.

Because people have three chairs now.  In the eighties we had four, but one of them broke in 1991.  Hmm, what else?


All pain relievers are five dollars. If you do not have pain relievers please move on.

I’m going to have to stop now, because what I really want to do is reproduce every single daft response and this would become the longest and least informative review ever.  If you want to see the every concieveble mangling of IF conventions, this is the place to look. It’s the sort of car crash IF that you just have to keep watching.  Unfortunately you can’t because what passes for a walkthrough ceases to work at the point where you have to take forms between two offices even though the forms don’t actually appear to exist as objects in the game.

The walkthrough ends like this:

The platypus married you and Zoey Ferdinand  (the women) last night while both of you were drunk. The game is over. You Win.

I would never suggest an author shouldn’t write more IF, but for god’s sake Mr Conine, (if that is your real name and you haven’t just misspelled Rod Canine) don’t write any more IF until you have learned some simple lessons.  Here are just a few.

MOTIVATE your characters.  There should be a clear in-story reason for everything the player-character is required to do.  Saying “you should probably get the bum off the bench” shows you are aware that this information needs to be transmitted to the player, but if the player does not have adequate motivation they may ignore such helpful advice.

SPELLCHECK.  If you don’t know how to spell a word, look it up, or use a spellchecker.  Spellcheckers are not infallible, they will not pick up mistakes like the substitution of “women” for “woman”, for instance.

READ YOUR WRITING BACK.  This will help you avoid making simple mistakes like calling a character Liel in one sentence and Liam in the next.

You should also try TESTING. Get some people- people you trust or strangers you met on the internet – to play the game before you release it. Listen to their feedback.


Oh, on the plus side I did learn a few things from this game.  Peyton Westlake, for instance, is of course the real name of famous superhero Darkman.  Also the cultural significance of the two dollar bill.  Well OK, I learned those things from Wikipedia.

Rating: Grim

Next: Gleaming The Verb

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