Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

What I'm reading and writing about lately.

IFComp 2016 Review: Fair

Posted by Reiko on November 20, 2016

This is a review of a game from the 2016 Interactive Fiction Competition. Scoring criteria can be found here.

Fair
Author: Hanon Ondricek
Format: Glulx

I suspect, like most of the pieces by this author, that there is more to this one than I’m seeing, but I’m not sure how to trigger any more plot. The PC has been asked at the last minute to judge an elementary science fair, but at the same time, he wants to sell some books so he can pay the rent. There’s only an hour to chat with potential buyers and decide which exhibit should win, except that there’s a hidden way to get more time, which I didn’t find without reading the in-game hints. I’m also not sure how I managed to trigger a scene that allowed me to earn a lot more money. Yet I didn’t achieve the maximum possible score, so there is still more that can be done.

There are multiple endings, although they’re listed as being different based on who is chosen to win first place. I didn’t see that choosing someone different changed the ending all that much. What matters to the PC is how much money he’s earned. But earning a huge bonus, while it changed the ending text, didn’t count as finding a different ending. I’ll count it as multiple endings, but it’s kind of strange.

As with last year’s entry (The Baker of Shireton), there’s a bit of a minigame (selling the books) which can be completely ignored if you just want to poke around and then judge the exhibits. And you do have to poke around at least once. This time I can’t tell how much the game is tracking between replays (the unlocked endings, at least). But in order to get the maximum score, I think you do have to do the bookselling, which is rather repetitive.

Time: 30 min
Scoring: base 7, +1 for multiple endings, -1 for repetitive play (bookselling)
Score: 7

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