Jerz Interactive Fiction Screencast: My Teenager Plays My 2001 Competition Entry, Fine-Tuned

From a recent IFDB review by Peter Pears:

Who else who write such a good game, with such engaging characters, such pleasant puzzles, such lovely writing, and then proceed to first release it in a buggy and incomplete fashion? Even today it’s not complete, though vastly superior to its first release – the last sections still have bugs, and the cliffhanger occurs just before what seems to be a final climatic scene.

The first scene of this charming 4-chapter game sets the mood. You, the gentleman-daredevil Troy Sterling, daring, bold, are about to enter your Dynamo automobile, and with it you are going to keep the darkness from vanquishing the light!

But first, to put on your nice goggles, your peaked cap, your stylish scarf, your signature gloves. Even when saving the world, one must look dashing.

Your quest against darkness, the precise details of which firmly set the mood for the rest of the game, is but the smallest part of this game, the first scene. There will be plenty more scenes in this chapter, all of them serving no purpose but to establish character and situation – the 1920’s world you’re living in, your trusty sidekick, the villanous MacDougall and his anti-automobile association, and even the simple fact that a gallant daredevil can’t pass through a fallen hatchling without climbing up the tree to restore him to his nest (which rewards the player with points, so everyone’s happy).

In fact, this is what the first chapter is – a succession of situations, intended to draw in, to make you smile, to fully comprehend the characters and the situations while making you, say, race a speeding train. Wonderful pacing, brilliant writing, using simplicity to its greatest effect – seldom do I feel a gameworld so vividly in a game with such sparse text.