[IFComp 2012] J’Dal

Blind bear?

Blind bear?

J’dal  by Ryan Kinsman opens me up to Drunk Jack’s Tavern, and I immediately think I will like this Drunk Jack.

It turns out I never get to meet Drunk Jack, and the waitress won’t let me order a beer. Sad face. Meanwhile, the game is telling to look and eat and wait. This is a very bossy game.

I’m also completely confused on the setting. Is it set in the past (there are some allusions to race being an issue)? Is it set in the future (this side of the planet, apparently, is very bright)? Is it the Wild Wild West (mines)? Or is this fantasy (maces and swords)?

I encountered an error almost immediately after sleeping in the room with ‘Dad.’ (Shh, don’t worry, I wore my blindfold.) When I woke up the next morning, I was trying to follow Dad and I re-entered room 203. Dad appeared again in room 203 and told me to sleep. I figured the bug would let me go back to sleep and then follow him again, but no such luck. I wasn’t drowsy, and now I couldn’t leave the room. Restart.

Trying to leave the tavern, neither ‘go out’, ‘go outside’, or ‘out’ work. ‘Exit’ does, however. I also lost Dad somewhere. About twelve turns later, he appears suddenly at the job site.

We all go into the mine and I learn about bearts.

>ask dad about bearts
“What’s a beart?” I ask.
“It’s like a bear, kind of, but it’s completely blind,” Dad says. “Lives in caves and dark places like this.”
Naturally.
Descriptions are missing all over the place. There’s no tent to look at at the tent site; in the tunnel, I cannot look at the tunnel, in the wooden stand there is a “crossbow thingy” but I can’t see it. Some of the spelling and grammar is incorrect. I encountered this at one point:
>ask roderick about rope
Which do I mean, the rope, rope, rope or rope?
Er, that one.
At the end of the game, there was this tidbit too:
“J’dal!” Dad exclaims, and then holds me. After a bit of crying and stuff, I realize we’re still both naked and this is weird, so I pull away. I explain what happened.
We swim back to the cave and put our clothes back on. I feel a little better now.
“J’dal,” Dad says, “we’ll have to tell everyone that I killed him. Alright? If they find out a darkie did it, even though he was a murderer …”
“Alright,” I interrupt. “I get.”
I’m not sure I can handle all the beart-killing, the racism (what year is this supposed to be anyways??), and the sexual tension between me and my ‘dad.’

2/10.

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