Flippant: The Eleusinian Miseries

The “Eleusinian Miseries” follows a vacuous, self-absorbed player-character as he is introduced into an ancient Greek mystery cult. Amusingly, the cult resembles American universities’ fraternities, and their mild hazing rituals and toga parties, except its members speak with British idioms and have names like Alky and Puffy.

While “Miseries” characters are well-acquainted with ancient Greek clothing, foods, vases, and architecture, they are also flippantly vague on other Greek folkways. The PC’s unrequited adoration of his friend, his ineptitude at practical tasks, and his surprising aptitude at accidentally emasculating statues of Hermes appears to be a joke about the virility of either the ancient Greeks, American fraternity brothers, or British trust-fund kids. Regardless of the way you read it, it’s pretty funny.

The game is structured by five distinct scenes. The first scene is a well-designed and implemented set of find and fetch tasks. The second scene is a little under-clued and linear, with a brute-force puzzle (you’ll need to try a lot of clothing combinations until you find out what amuses your cult-mates) and a guess-the-verb puzzle (if you want to splash or spatter something on yourself, try “wash” instead). The third scene is more open and involves some lateral-thinking repair puzzles. The fourth scene has little interaction, but carries some thematic weight for the game. And the final scene is a clever optimization puzzle which points to several alternate game endings.

“Eleusinian Miseries” is a funny, engaging, well-structured game, with only a few implementation problems.


Thanks so much for the review, Walter! Glad you enjoyed it. For the guess-the-verb issue you mentioned, do you happen to have a transcript? SPLASH should work in at least some permutations, so would be helpful to see what the hang-up is.

Oh, and on the deeper meaning I was trying to communicate with the Herms: there wasn’t necessarily one intended – this is a historical event that actually happened, but which seemed sufficiently entertaining to include in the farce.

Thanks again!


I don’t anymore. It’s possible it’s related to the period bug in the Inform 7 standard library.

(I was just trained to type periods at the end of sentences. Who knew there was an 8-year-old bug in Inform 7?)

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