Next up: “The Shoe Dept.”
All right. It’s 1995 (that liminal age where phone books existed alongside cell phones) we’re 15 years old, and we’re off to the first day of our summer job selling shoes at the local mall. Right now, this looks like it could be anything from a heartwarming coming-of-age story to a wacky workplace comedy. And it does seem to be going for workplace comedy, at first, before things take a turn for the somewhat more bizarre and we discover it’s about a mind-control conspiracy.
Kind of like the “Josie & the Pussycats” movie, actually.
Anyway. This game proves that a hypertext point-and-click interface IS capable of the sort of object-manipulation puzzles on which traditional parser IF was built. We even have an inventory. We also have a puzzle that involves switching pieces of text around, and this, I think, works far better with a point-and-click interface than with a parser. On the whole, I find the interface works pretty well, though I do not like the bits where I have to wait for the text to appear. Thankfully, this does not happen too often.
The story itself … as I said, it’s one of those stories where a kid discovers a big conspiracy and then proceeds to foil it … something of a young adult adventure thriller. The premise of the New Shoe being the lynchpin behind the Evil Plot defuses a bit of the tension, in favour of humour and whimsy. I don’t know that it offers anything new or surprising, but it’s a fairly entertaining story nonetheless. Actually, come to think of it, perhaps the tension feels surprisingly low, given the nature of the story. I’m not sure why this is.
Breakfast: microwaved poptarts and Tang. Maybe not as hearty as some, but tasty, safe, and easy to swallow.