IFcomp 2016: Take Over The World

Next, here’s a simple little Twine piece to answer that age-old question, “What do we want to do today, Brain?”

That should be obvious. “Take Over The World”.

…or, at least, Cleveland.

“Take Over The World” is a silly, silly romp through the premise of world conquest; or, at least, the conquest of Cleveland, because we’ve got to start somewhere. We begin by selecting our starter lair and our second-in-command; things branch out when we make our next choice of minions, and eventually we either conquer Cleveland (and win the whole world) or … not.

The actions are sketched out in broad strokes, and with cartoonish simplicity. The humour is fairly meta: this is a game that’s fully aware of the tropes–it is, in a way, a pastiche of tropes–and it’s having fun with them. Our inventory, for instance, includes our chosen lair, the minions we’ve picked up, and qualities such as “frustration” and “good taste”. We’re not expected to be emotionally invested in the quest; rather, we are expected to grin at all the hanging lampshades.

Structure-wise, the game appears at first to be not much more than a very simple branching CYOA, but there is some stat-tracking involved. Your choice of lair, for example, might change whether or not your choice of second-in-command is interested in following you; and I found at least one instance where your choice of second-in-command affected the efficacy of one world-domination strategy. I don’t know that it’s very comprehensive; it certainly doesn’t feel terribly involved; but it does mean that choices have to make a modicum of sense. We can’t sneak anywhere if we’re followed by a giant robot, for instance … but we can certainly try.

Also, this game made me actually burst out laughing–out loud, no less–so it deserves an extra point for that, no matter what I feel it deserves as a mere IF game/story.

If you’re looking for artistic depth, nuance, or social commentary, you’re unlikely to find it here. On the other hand, if you just want a few minutes of diversion and a laugh, then maybe this will do the trick. As a breakfast, it might be chocolate chip cookies and cold milk. Lightweight and not especially filling, but everyone loves chocolate chip cookies; and if it leaves you smiling, then why not.

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