Review of "FunHouse"

FunHouse is an ADRIFT 4 interactive fiction game and is © 2003 by C. A. Gist.

Review by David Welbourn (originally posted at IFDB)

This game is so very messed up, I think it's proof that even ADRIFT can be too difficult to use for some authors. The author did manage to come up with an interesting setting and created several suitable rooms and connected them up properly, but then... well, it seems the author had a lot of disjointed ideas and them dropped them into the game without any care or craftsmanship.

I suppose the first failure is the clunky prose. The author definitely needs work on how to write sentences that express ideas clearly.

The second thing that the poor player is likely to notice is the totally pointless money system. There's a wallet and several clumps of bills scattered outside your car instead of, say, in your inventory. The wallet isn't a container. And you don't need to buy anything either. Really.

The third thing: the pointless combat. For no obvious reason, one of the NPCs will start to hit you. And you can hit back. But it means nothing; neither of you can hurt the other, so ignore it.

Frankly, the list of problems is long. One of the NPCs is called "your children 8)". Like, c'mon. The intro tells you you're supposed to meet your kids, but they are completely unresponsive, so you can just ignore them too.

Finally, the goal of the game is, well, completely opaque to the player unless one goes into the debugger and figures out which commands are relevant and which are just in the game for flavour. Very little in the game proper gives the player a clue what is expected of them. It's not just guess-the-verb, but guess-the-phrase too.

I'm sorry, but there's barely a game here, let alone any "fun".

Rating: ⭐️

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.