So I found this very funny. I realize it’s a bit of an in-joke game and will likely appeal more to people who’ve been involved with the IFcomp for a while, but still. I genuinely laughed out loud while playing this. And, to be honest, once it opens out a bit, it becomes less of an in-joke and more of a general game. And still very funny.
First thing to point out is the platform. It’s made with a combination of Inform and Vorple. At last! A Vorple game that does something more interesting with the interface than just add a few colors to the screen. It’s an impressive technical achievement. On entering, we are presented with what looks like an email platform – we can read emails, visit external links, see images, navigate between Sent and Inbox and Junk. Then, as we get further into the game the interaction is added to – we are given a choice based game in the window. It’s all very slick and unusual. And awesome. When we get a new mail, a little push notification pops up. I’d love to know how the author has done this – so I spend some time perusing the code. How cool is that!
Playing as the IFcomp organizer, we are getting threatening emails from a lawyer regarding a game from the 2017 IFcomp. Apparently it wasn’t a fair depiction of a Dragon at all – especially a Supreme Prophet of the Ninth Draconian Plate. We’re being sued for a large amount of money. However, we are also sent a theosophic mentality worm – which allows us to enter the mind of the Dragon and be alongside it through a day in the office. The emails continue as we then play the choice game we are presented with while Mr. Nobspike waits outside, trying to get through the door. It’s up to us to give the original game an ending.
Then the game folds in on itself, cleverly, and becomes super meta. “The whole thing would be entirely linear — it would strip away all semblance of player agency. I can’t begin to tell you the sort of complaints that would roll in.” It says, telling me what I was about to write. I was also going to write : I wish it hadn’t ended yet. 8/10