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Book and Volume

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 2005, Nick Montfort

Book and Volume is a fun little IF romp by Nick Montfort, creator of Ad Verbum (one of my most favorite IF games of all time and the most clever “wordplay” games). Brian Kerr explains the charms of this charming gem – that will delight nerds and geeks everywhere – in the short-but-sweet review on his blog:

“Whats the game about? Its about a sysadmin in the weird, charming cyber-Gotham of nTopia who spends the last working day of his/her/its life rebooting servers and reacting to frantic pages from an unseen supervisor. (“Net extremely hoseled. Engine team being hideously masticated by this outage. Demo rapidly approaching. Get to the cages. Reboot the servers. Hasten. Do not rest. Please. All five of them.”) Whats the game really about? Knut, a resident of nTopia, pegs it: ‘Reality. Illusion. Theme is reality versus illusion. Must discern reality. And illusion.’

Its about spaces. Mapping. Learning. And easy pop culture / English major references.

I’d recommend this game to anybody, although it is fairly dense and telegraphic like Ad Verbum, it presumes a certain amount of familiarity with nerd culture in general and interactive fiction in specific.

If it wasn’t so short, the games weird style would get old very fast. Stylistically, it achieves what For a Change tried to do, while supplying enough structure if not quite significance to reward the player’s efforts.”

For anyone who misses the illusory-realistic worlds of IF classics like A Mind Forever Voyaging, Delusions, and Gateway, Book and Volume will hook you until it’s over. The game is relatively short, which makes it ideal for anyone who is interested in modern IF but finds most large games too daunting. The gameworld does seem a bit confusing at first, though, so feel free to download the cool non-spoilery map created by Richard Bos from the link below, or from the official site. Highly recommended!

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