I found this game unplayable without resorting to the walkthrough; the descriptions just don’t explain adequately what’s there.
[spoiler]First room: you can’t move without pushing the boards; you can’t push the boards because they’re stuck under the pole. You can’t push the pole because the pole has prongs, but when you examine the prongs, it only says that they’re attached to the pole, not that they’re stuck in the boards. Only once you push the pole, it says:
It sounds like the prongs need to be removed, but you can’t pull the prongs or get the prongs; you have to turn or “rotate” the prongs, which just isn’t the slightest bit obvious from any of the object descriptions.
Even once the prongs are turned:
You can’t lift it, but you can spin it a bit or slide it back and forth. You don’t need to engage with it further.
That’s not a verb I recognize.
That’s not a verb I recognize.[/code][/spoiler]
The game is full of descriptions that mention things which turn out not to exist when you examine them. The authors should follow the BENT rule from Aaron Reed’s Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7: “Bracket Every Notable Thing.” Following that rule will force you to come up with an object description for every thing mentioned in an object or room description (or remind you to rephrase to avoid mentioning a thing that can’t be interacted with).
In the very first room description:
>x gap You can't see any such thing. >x desk You can't see any such thing. >x wall You can't see any such thing. >x board You can't see any such thing. > x boxes The boxes [... etc etc...] Ah: a partially disassembled radio. > x radio You can't see any such thing.
[spoiler]Some of this is singular vs. plural confusion. You can “x desks” but not “desk,” “x prongs” but not “prong”, “x walls” but not “wall.”
The cabinets aren’t mentioned in the room description, especially once you’ve gotten out from under the boards, even if you examine the walls. The only way to get a reference to the cabinets is to “look in desks” (“open desks” doesn’t work) or to examine the debris, which disappears from the room description once you stand up.
[code]>look in desks
The desks are not positioned such that you can easily explore their contents, but the drawers you can reach contain only dust and the odd cobweb. You may be better off investigating the cabinets along the wall, the boxes underneath, the crates, the barrels, the drum, or the bed.
You can’t see any such thing.[/code][/spoiler]
Finally, this game is so short that you never get to find out what this story is about. (It feels like it might have been a more fitting submission to IntroComp.)
[spoiler]False orders, cool! But what are my real orders? To destroy the Dweller in the Water? If so, shouldn’t the ending text say something nice about “mission accomplished?”
Why did killing the Dweller matter? Why was the German form incomplete? What did the shoes have to do with any of this?[/spoiler]