Review: 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds

(Great PC character writing, fun variation of puzzles, too much of a completionist challenge for me to keep going. Maybe I’ll revisit to kill the vampire some more. 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds - Details (ifdb.org))

Curly fries on fangs.

Seriously?

Your first night off in like, forever, one of the few times you have enough change in your pockets to treat yourself to some comfort grease-food, perhaps washing down this fight with Luke, taking time to chat a bit with the nice waitress, and there’s one of those bloodsucking hypermosquitoes at McDonalds?

Can’t a girl get some well-deserved rest for once?

Halfway through the hour or so I played 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds, an old math joke I heard once resurfaced:

If an engineer wakes up because the trashcan in her hotel room is burning, she’ll get the fire extinguisher and put out the fire, then call the fire brigade.
If it’s a chemist, he’ll cover the thrashcan with a tight lid, trusting the lack of oxygen will take care of the flames.
A mathematician will scan the room and go back to sleep once she sees the sink, assured that a solution exists.

I felt like the mathematician after a while in 16 Ways. I had successfully killed the vampire in 4 ways (UV-light, Plunger Stake, Machine Gun Scripture, Holy Squirt Gun). While I was searching my surroundings and setting up preparations for these four (and a bunch of less prepared other attempts which resulted in death…), I saw many glimpses and clues for a bunch of others (I think these would work: Call the Cavalry x2, Holy Bucket Door Gag, Garlic Fries Poison Bait, Close Up Cross Necklace, Frame the Vampire). After going through the game about a dozen times, I put it aside, content with my four confirmed kills and satisfied that solutions existed for the rest.

After going around a few times, starting anew to get each kill-method set up just right began to get tedious. Exacerbating the situation was the feeling that I was being punished for being playful. I feel this game sorely lacks an UNDO-button. A bunch of times I chose an obviously wrong option, just to see what would happen. While the resulting death/failure scenes were nice, their entertainment value didn’t balance out the chore of restarting, even with the option to skip the intro.

About that: I feel the intro is by far the best part of the game. The narrator’s voice, part internal monologue, part half-annoyed explanatory grumbling at the player, is funny and hints at a complex character. Add to this the glimpses of background worldbuilding and the fragments about the PC’s relationship with her friends/colleagues and her mother, and the short intro proves to be an impressive and effective piece of writing. It does a lot of heavy lifting, placing just the right images and associations in the player’s mind to create the impression of a full, real world and a rounded PC personality.

Fun game, good writing, nice for a quick dip, great for completionists.

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I am a completionist who fought my way past the tedium to finally get all 16 endings (and I was glad I did, because doing so unlocks a “true ending”), but it definitely got a bit exhausting/frustrating. Particularly trying to accomplish the method where you set the McDonalds on fire—I kept getting the placement of the burning napkin(?) wrong and then having to start over and set everything up again. So basically, I agree on both these points!

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