IFcomp 2016: Slicker City

Next: “Slicker City”, with its entourage of reversed word-phrases. Phrase-words? Everwhat.

“Slicker City” is a sequel to last year’s “The Problems Compound”, and a number of the comments then still apply. We’re still dealing with a surreal, whimsical setting derived from word-phrase reversals. The prose tends towards a rather high degree of introspection–I didn’t comment on this last year, so perhaps it’s heavier and more noticeable this year. Mostly, it’s a standard IF puzzler, or at least that’s how it begins.

Because this time, a couple of puzzles hinge on understanding the wordplay involved. Not only would this understanding inform your choice of what to pick (though brute force is still a viable approach) but it could also inform your choice of verbs in very particular circumstances. This is a lot more like the sort of puzzling I expected from “The Problems Compound”! However, I must confess that I didn’t realise the significance of the word choices–yes, I resorted to brute force–until afterwards: I could complain that I was misled by the first couple of puzzles, which were standard IF object manipulation puzzles, but it’s just as likely that I was simply slow to notice the possibilities.

Then again, there’s something to be said for consistency of puzzle approaches, and the first couple of puzzles are generally expected to set the tone for what is to follow.

The game is substantially shorter than its predecessor, though. This is probably not a bad thing; in my opinion, the length is just about right for what the game is: a puzzley little diversion, not meant for any emotional heart-wringing. For breakfast, I would suggest a small bowl of oatmeal porridge with a soft-boiled egg in it: not exactly how it’s traditionally done, but a good, quick meal as long as you know to serve it not too hot and not too cold, but just right. Follow it with chamomile tea and a pat on the back.

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