The Great Infocom Replay: Cutthroats

I guess feel a little sheepish that I’m not really going to play much Cutthroats. Maybe it’s some kind of shame at quitting early that made me stop the replay ages ago. This is silly, though. I don’t think the game is fun, and I don’t really want to force myself to sit through it.

I considered using a walkthrough to get some of the later bits. I’m told the sea diving is cool. I just don’t find it appealing to bother.

Things to note:

It’s got hunger and thirst timers, ugh.

There lots of rooms with the same name. This isn’t that uncommon, but the east-west “Wharf Road” is five rooms all called Wharf Road. It can be a drag.

The game has some in-game time events. That is: You get told “come to a meeting at this place at 9:30”. This felt really promising! It’s used to enormous effect in Majora’s Mask, although I knew it wouldn’t be that good. It’s also part of the structure of Berlyn’s earlier Suspended, where certain events will happen at certain turns. In the end, though, it was extremely tedious. I felt like I had four stand-up meetings, each of which ended with, “Now meet me again thirty minutes from now. The location of that meeting will take twenty-three minutes to get to, so you’ll be bored for seven minutes, but you can’t get anything useful done in that time either.” Bah.

On the other hand, there’s a bit of a gotcha where your watch needs to be wound or it’ll stop early in the game, making it easy to miss appointments. I really liked that.

To assuage your hunger, you can “buy food” at a restaurant where one of those meetings happens. You’re told you buy “a meal”. So much for the evocative economy of Infocom writing!

Next up is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy! I’ve played it before, and I know what I’m in for. I’ll see how far I can get, but as I recall, it’s got great bits and also bits that are very tedious. After that comes Suspect. I’m not enthusiastic. I guess I’m sounding a bit like a sourpuss, but so it goes!

Written on January 28, 2024
🎲 games
🏷 infocom-replay
🏷 int-fiction