Sysyphus by Theo Koutz (Inform)

I don’t know whether this is a joke game or not, but I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it isn’t. Either way, it’s not up to much.

Apparently you’re Sysyphus, the Greek king who has been punished by the Gods to continually push a boulder up a hill for all eternity. Sound like a good idea for an IF game to you? Nope, me neither.

Like I said before, I’m not sure whether this is a joke game or not. The only command the game seemed to understand was PUSH BOULDER and that didn’t achieve anything. I couldn’t walk away, I couldn’t interact with anyone, I didn’t have any items. There was, literally, nothing to do. The author didn’t even bother to include hints or a walkthrough for those people who didn’t think that endlessly typing PUSH BOULDER was enough fun in itself. So while I’d have liked to have written a review of the full game (assuming there is one), I’m instead just going to write a review based on what bit of it I saw.

In conclusion: it’s not much good.

1 out of 10

I really really REALLY wanted there to be more to Sisyphus. I played well beyond the point when most people probably gave up.

I have a theory that it was written as a “screw you” to the IF Community. Or maybe not so much that – maybe as ironic punishment. If that’s true (which it probably isn’t), I didn’t feel like the target. I don’t remember being frustrated by the game at all. I just hoped for more beyond the boulder.

Man, I dont know how, but I knew what this game was before I ever typed the first command into it.

And yet I still kept at it for twenty minutes, just to prove to myself that it was what I thought it was. In the end I went ‘yep’ and quit.

As to why anyone would do this I have no idea, I’d guess probably to sit back and watch the reactions on the forum / newsgroups after the comp was over. As is common with this type of pranks, the response was probably much less dramatic than what the author was going for.

…and come on, no answer to DRINK REDBULL? that’s just unclever. At least if the author is in the States.

Sounds like your experience with it was pretty much the same as mine. I’ve even seen that Redbull commercial, but I didn’t think to try that. Twenty minutes is about what I spent as well, and this was well into the “it has to be a joke, but if it’s not then I’ll have judged it unfairly” phase. By the end, I thought it almost had to be. What is there was written well enough, and it seemed unlikely that anybody would make the solution so obscure and not at least give clues.

It’s been decompiled (or something) by a few people, and that really is all.

I’d actually assumed there was a proper game here, but the command required to get any further was either incredibly vague or there was some huge bug preventing me getting anywhere. If I’d known it was a deliberate joke entry, I’d have deleted it in straight off and not even spent the ten or so minutes on it that I did.