Since I want to finish out the reviews before they’re irrelevant they’ll be a little shorter for the rest.

This is a review of The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man by Hannes Schuller, z-code game entered into the 2009 Interactive Fiction Competition.

I’ll admit it – my main problem with this game was simply that you never did anything interesting as a guy who is invisible.  People have joked about peeping into girl’s locker rooms; that would actually be using the game’s basic concept.

Instead, you avoid making use of your invisibility, and do things like discretely throwing poison out into the street and sending letters.  Beyond the avoidance of the expected theme, I didn’t like the fact that you had to – apparently – kill the guy outside with the old pizza by dropping it through the window in the hopes that he would pick it up off the ground and eat it (who would do that?), or that you had to instinctively know that the mail is instantaneous.

Something else that bugged me was that you needed a disguise of bandages and such – okay, that’s a classic trope of invisible men – but after using it where necessary (actually it’s not even that necessary) things proceed as if you were never wearing it in the first place.

I have to admit, there are some clever moments.  I really liked the take-the-sun joke (though I did manage to cause it a second time after trying to pick up the puppy for some reason) and I don’t mind a loathsome hero.  And the ending – well, it has a point, but that doesn’t make for a very fun game (and you did kill a guy to accomplish your useless revenge).  I would have been happier making mundane but actual use of my invisibility then having the ‘oh, I get it’ ending to justify having a ridiculously sociopathic PC.  This game could have worked, but didn’t actually have a system to make the idea fun.

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