This is quite an odd game. I don’t really get it.
“Extreme Omnivore: Text Edition” is a name that makes me think we’re gonna be doing some extreme omnivore things! Eating everything! Which, considering some games I’ve written myself, I’d be down for. But, uh, you don’t really eat much? You’re just in a normal apartment, which the text describes as “boring” and “dull,” and the gameplay consists of going through the rooms and trying and failing to eat stuff like pens and shampoo bottles. Just because they’re there. Finally you get to eat dinner in the kitchen, and the game ends.
I thought maybe we were playing a dog at first, since the blurb says we’re “hungry as a dog” and we’re willing to try eating crayons and cushions and whatnot. But apparently we’re just a person who’s too desperate to wait for dinner? Except not THAT desperate, since like I said, you’re not exactly devouring this stuff. It’s always unappetizing and then your character doesn’t wanna keep eating it. The impression I come away with is that this is a story about someone getting home from work, whose partner (?) is cooking dinner, who wanders around their own apartment for five minutes or so, randomly nibbling household items until dinner is ready.
Some of the items in the house, and the food served for dinner, is described with rather loving attention. But I just don’t get it! Why are all these items in the game? What’s the purpose of putting the spotlight on them? The game keeps pointing out how ordinary everything is. Why not spice things up? It would’ve been funny if we DID get to eat the items, and thereby demolish the house or get a stomachache or something, but it just doesn’t happen!
There are lots of implementation holes. The game uses compass directions, but they’re not listed. When you’re in the entrance hall, you can ENTER LIVING ROOM DOOR to enter the living room. But then, once you’re in the living room, it’s still called the living room door. So when you ENTER LIVING ROOM DOOR again, you’re now in the entrance hall. It’s like this for every room/door. X ME gives the default Inform 7 response. Lots of the responses are defaults. Many synonyms are missing. Things mentioned in the room descriptions (like linoleum, for example) aren’t implemented.
I needed the walkthrough to finish. You have to say “thank you” to Ina for making dinner, but this wasn’t cued anywhere in the game that I saw. Ina didn’t respond to the conversation topics I tried, so I didn’t expect conversation to be a puzzle. Also, it was really hard to eat dinner! There’s a pie in the oven, and when you try to open the oven it’s too hot, which made me think I needed to wait or do something else first, but the game just wanted me to EAT PIE and ignore the oven. Mixed signals! Ditto with the rice and soup.
I feel like this author could make a pretty sweet game. There’s loving attention to certain details here, like I mentioned. Some of the writing is evocative. Despite the implementation holes, the foundation is okay. It’s not really a buggy game. It’s more like it’s an egg that’s unhatched? Waiting to become more than it is? Unless I missed some devious secret underbelly, which I suppose is possible!