Out of Order
My name is Hurford Schlitzting. I have reason to believe that my parents were drunk when they named me that. I am the main character of a game called Out of Order (Windows, 9MB, free).
Some teenage nobody by the name of SonicLover was trying out his new copy of CrossOver Games (which allows Mac and Linux users to run Windows programs) when he found my game featured in a Weekend Download way back in March. He must have liked it, because he decided to write a full review for it.
Out of Order is a humor-oriented, mouse-driven adventure game in the style of the old Lucas Arts and Sierra titles. You play as me, Hurford Schlitzting, an ordinary human being in a green bathrobe and bunny slippers (c'mon, everyone owns one or both of those... bust 'em out!) Late one night, I'm awakened by a storm and go to get a midnight snack. And then the game ends... Wait! No, it doesn't, or we wouldn't have much of a game.
Afterwards, everything starts up again exactly like before, only this time things go a little differently. Before I can get my snack, my bedroom and I are teleported into a bizarre alien neighborhood known only as "The Town", run by a shadow government known only as "The Panel". I'm not on Earth any more, that's for sure. Your task now is to guide me through the town, solving puzzles in an attempt to find a way home. And don't assume anything. Do we even know for sure that I'm a human being?
But enough plot malarkey. Control is mostly done with the mouse. Move the cursor and left click on things. Right click to cycle through your options (walk to, look at, use, talk to, the usual). Press [space] to access your inventory and use whatever items I might have picked up. It's a bit retro, but that's what some people like.
Analysis (by SonicLover): Out of Order is truly a diamond in the rough. After I finished playing it (with a little help from a walkthrough), I decided right away that it deserved a full review. It's one of those games that weaves its sense of humor into every situation, every object, and every interaction.
The puzzles can be vexing at times, but maybe it's just me. It's only natural that some of us have more trouble with certain puzzles than others. For example, did it never occur to anyone to pick up the doorknob? The humor's sweet, too. There's a dash of fourth wall-breaking at times ("Well, that should be easy." "You fool! Don't ever say that in an adventure game!"), a dash of "realism humor" ("I hope I never see you again." "I bet you say that to all your doctors." "Actually, I do."), some "slap-in-the-face" humor ("This looks like an infrared sensor. I'm glad my masterful perception skills are still intact... that and my ability to read stickers."), and even a few of my favorite flavor of humor: bad puns ("The elevator was jamming? What does it play?").
My only complaint was the control scheme. Sure it's a Windows game, but I still think switching options by right-clicking is a bit unusual, even after I figured out how to do it. (I've configured my laptop so that when I touch the trackpad with two fingers simultaneously, it recognizes it as a right-click. I had it that way long before I downloaded this game.) Perhaps having an alternate manner of switching, like pressing certain keys on the keyboard to switch directly to specific options, would have been a little easier.
But all the same, Out of Order is a masterpiece that no point-and-click adventure gamer should ignore.
Download the free, full version
Mac OS X:
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.
I played this way back when it was first reviewed here (and it is very very good), although, perhaps appropriately, when I beat it the game had an error and shut down.
Reminds me a bit of Ben There, Dan That.
I. Love. This game. Despite all the slow walking, it's one of those games I have to go back to and play at least once a year.. Now to see if I can get it to work with my Mac.
Hrmm.. I've downloaded and installed it, but when I click on the shortcut nothing happens. D:
I too was flipping through old weekend downloads when I first played this game.
Unfortunately it froze just before the ending but it was such a good game.
Glad to see it get another review.
This is such an awesome game! I played it when it got mentioned at the Weekend Download, and I just have to go and play it again.
For the people who are having trouble with the ending, just do it again (restart from the last saved file), and the true ending will come up. Well, it worked for me.
P.S: Great review, SonicLover! Keep it up!
Oh man! I've been looking for this game for a couple of years now! It's probably one of the first freeware adventure games I've ever played. Since I could only remember certain gameplay elements and areas (the green bathrobe, his entire bedroom being moved, the rectilinear area outside the room, the elevator), I had no luck finding it. Thanks for posting this!
oldgame is... AWESOME
Good times, man.
That's so funny, I was playing this game for the first time just this week.
It has a good sense of humor, and I like the story, which kept me playing.
My big problem with this game was the puzzle difficulty. Some of the solutions are just weird and obscure. There's no way I could have finished this without a walkthrough. Remember "guess the verb" in text adventures? Well, this is like "guess what the programmer was thinking." It's really unfortunate, and brings down what is otherwise an interesting game.
"The elevator was jamming? What does it play?"
crazily i found that very funny! :O
I played this game a while ago, and I loved it. Right clicking is not unusual, at least I didn't find it so, but I played the old Sierra games(mainly space quests) as my first adventure games, and right clicking switched your cursor.
Classic. I played this one years ago. Took me like a week to work it (with a bit of a walkthrough for the end).
Never playing it again though. I have too much of a life to dedicate myself to a silly video game (as I download it.)ho hum...
Aweful! When I got to the "knock on Sylvia's door" part, she kept slamming the door on me. In other words, the game got stuck. Bad news!
Same here. I downloaded it when I click on the short cut it does absolutely nothing.. Uninstalling it now.. reinstalled it and it still does not work. Thanks anyway.
Same problem as Icebear and sjdhalkjfgs (I take it that's an old Swedish name). It doesn't seem to be working on my PC...
I had the same problems as you guys, but I was able to fix this by redownloading and reinstalling the game WITHOUT uninstalling the previous game, now it works.
Does anyone here remember "Leisure Suit Larry"?? It was a Sierra game too. I used to have some of the original Kings Quest games. You know the ones on the giant floppies? Can't play with them so I threw them away several months ago.
Oh, by the way... for those of you who want to see the "elevator was jamming" line for yourself, talk to the computer next to Silvia's room after the meeting.
Same difficulties as sjdhalkjfgs and jimlefevre - and I've tried what Painorama did, but to no avail.
I think the use of the right button is perfectly okay. Flash got too much into your minds already...
I played this game years ago when it first came out, and I still totally LOVE it!
I run it on all my pc's and laptops and I play it at least 2 a year.
It's fun and relaxing
I just hated this game. It's making me crazy cause it's so slow.
And I'm a person who used to play these kind of games back in stone age. I don't think retrogames are cool and fun. They're boring and slow.
Well..... except Manic Miner.
And maybe few hundred more.....
But this one isn't one of them!
For a longer comment: I loved this game.
First to say the ("real") graphic adventure game is a dying species would be a lie. It's pretty dead already. At least it has reached its bottom level already quite a while. Currently only every few eternities a bigger graphic adventure game shows up (the last one I played is 2 years ago: ankh, and no I do not mean that notpron rip off but a real adventure game to buy). Now this is also one of the few glimpses we adventure lovers only see so seldom.
The plot was brilliant. It was creative, and it was definitely much more developed than the boring "save your girlfriend" or the "defeat the evil by nature" plots. Altough
the social problems about the not-wanted-to-be-one replicate not being able to fill the spot of the original because its taken by it, is also a plot scheme that you see again and again, at least almost every sci-fi show I know had at least one episode covering that
. But still the plot kept you nosy all the way!
The music was very nice too.
The graphics were done well and creative too, although a bit too many pixels, could have been a little more hires.
The biggest complaint I'd also have about some of the puzzles logic. Many puzzles were great, and I went quite a fair distance into the game without the need of the walkthrough. Altough some puzzles are IMHO real stoppers. That is logging into the computer in the office and getting the Password from the security comp. This were IMHO real show stoppers.
As I argued once here, when I resign and look into the walkthrough, my reaction is IMHO a good indicator of the quality of the puzzle. If I think: "how obvious, if I only tried and thought a little harder, I would likely found it myslef" it's a good puzzle. It will also raise my frustration level for the next puzzle to keep trying. If I think: "how stupid, unlogical, if at all it would have taken me very long to discover this by random. I'm happy I shortened that frustration by looking at the walkthrough now", then it was a very bad puzzle. It will also quite lower my frustration tolerance for the next puzzle.
About the speed, well you know you can skip messages with the right mouse button? Took me a while to discover that. It gives quite a better experience. About the walking, yes I'd wish too there would be either a faster walking, or a little map to go places quickly... but it's okay. We are too hectic in our lives either way, a little slowness isn't that bad.
I'm not agreeing with you, fuzzyface, and I'm not disagreeing with you, but let's discuss things a bit further. The puzzles you found illogical... how would you have done them to make them more logical?
SonicLover, an illogicla puzzle just has to be replaced, you cannot "tweak" an unlogic puzzle to make it logical.
A logic puzzle is something where you can put the PC away, lie down and think, and after an hour you say, "Yes of course!", or when showering or whenever. An illogical puzzle is something where you say, aha okay if you say so, even when you see the solution...
For example the things with music altering your mind were perfect in this game. The thing that
changing the description above the comp makes the decoder device suddendly able to decode it, is just bad, this cannot be tweaked, this has to be completly replaced
@fuzzyface: My mind may just be too warped by games like this, but
I thought of covering up the "ANITRON LTD" text and replacing it with something else right away. What tripped me up was that I couldn't remember the "hint" about that puzzle in the Urban Leopard's lair, so I didn't know what I was supposed to replace it with. I just used the bumper sticker right away, if only because it was the only useful thing I could think of to do with it. I didn't know you could pick up the "OK" letters either, and I'd never tried.
Oh man, this is my favourite adventure game ever pretty much. First played it about 3 years ago, and have replayed it once since. Might be time for another replay.
Some of the puzzles are crazy and require a walkthrough, but I just love the overall atmosphere of the game, and the humour is top notch.
It's a shame they have no plans to make a sequel. I'd love to see another game from them.
zes warped mind might be it, i for one don't thought for a second, that changing the label of something will also alter the thing. Which is hiiiiighly illogical. .... ... yes one can argue ex-post because all was a virtual reality, that the code of that space somehow mattered, but at the point you are solving this puzzle you have no idea of this, or of an "universal logic" active in that place, where things will be altered if you alter the label.
It's true that writing the text "This is an orange" on an apple doesn't transform it into an orange, but someone who doesn't know what an apple or an orange is would be none the wiser. The way I see it, the MotorTroll determined what manner of security it was by reading the label above. I know it doesn't make too much sense, but it's a bit more plausible than your theory.
soniclover, whatever its a bad puzzle. That device would "read" the label is IMHO just as unlogic.
Don't get me wrong, i really loved the game. After all as oldschool adventure gamer I'm today soo thankfull for any adventure game that goes any deeper than "escape the room". And the game has a good set of good puzzles after all. Its just it also got some quite bad puzzles, which IMHO should be avoided if any possible.
I downloaded this game when it was reviewed here. I really liked it, but as others have said, it was a bit slow. Sometimes it randomly froze, and some of the puzzles made little/no sense. Although it was enjoyable, I have yet to finish the game. It became a tad frustrating.
I've just started playing it under Wine and apparently it works flawlessly. Just thought I should share the information.
OK, not so flawlessly, after all. It crashed when displaying "The Other End", but that's about it, all else worked fine.
I just finished playing it. Fun game! There were times when the puzzles were a bit on the hard side, so I had to resort to the walkthrough.
Question--there were rumors of Easter Eggs in the game. Anyone stumble upon any of those?
HELP!! I am playing out of order and I love this game BUT, I am stuck on how to make the doctor tell you about his basement. I have tried playing the cd in the bedroom but when i go back to the doctor all he says is he is still looking up the symptoms. Please help me!
The CD has nothing to do with the doctor. Go to the meeting organizer's computer in the office building and read the message about the doctor's basement. Then go talk to him.
Great game, but I'm stuck at the part where:
I checked this walkthrough and it says that the tv shop is closed so you have to go at the back and listen to Sylvia's interview, but I use the look option with the window, but all he says is "looks like they left a tv open" or something like that
Please help! I've tried every option!
As stupid as this sounds, I'm having trouble getting the ID card for the lift! I swear I've tried everything, but obviously not. Can someone help me please? This is one of those games I really want to finish. Thanks.
i can't seem to enter the password on the comp in the office building it says login incorrect deidre told me panel vn what do i need to do please help me please
Aidan: look at your door, there is the name and you can go to the computer xP
Help :O im stuck, How do I get the password?
I just discovered and played this game, and for the most part, I think it is excellent!
The control scheme, in my opinion, is superior to the SCUMM verb-coin system used in Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken, opting for a simplified arrangement which uses right-clicking to interact with the environment and limits the verbs only to the five most basic necessary required ones...WALK TO, PICK UP, USE, LOOK AT, and TALK TO.
The entire game opens, closes, and flows like a movie and plays like a comedic episode of "The Twilight Zone" while throwing the player into an odd world resembling a surrealistic artist's painting, filled with the craziest and most varied and unnerving assortment of characters imaginable.
The backgroind music used in the various areas of the game perfectly accompanies the variegated areas and situations you encounter...some of the musical themes sound as if they could have been ripped straight out of a new 2-D Metroid game (They're THAT good!), and even the more jovial themes such as those used in Diner Mo's and the Sweaty Palms Tavern still manage to purvey that something is definitely off-kilter about this weird world that you're trapped in.
The plot...the plot speaks for itself. One of the weirdest stories I've ever encountered in this type of game, or in any full length movie, for that matter...Doc Brown from "Back To The Future" could have smoked twenty pounds of LSD and still never dreamed this up! This game makes the plot of "Zak McKracken And The Alien Mindbenders" look like a typical day at the office, yet manages to draw inspiration from that game's offbeat fourth-wall-breaking sense of humor and crank it up about seven notches.
And just when you think the game is over and it couldn't possibly get any weirder...well, let's just say that the ending, as drawn out and non-interactive as it is, is by itself worth the price of admission and worth all the work you did to get there.
In other words, Out Of Order is a quite immersive graphic adventure and a gaming experience I would recommend to anybody! Perfection in the making, barring a few issues concerning the puzzles themselves. Yeah, those issues...
Now, for the things that drug down an otherwise great game. Like many, I also had considerable trouble with many of the puzzles, particulary the ones others are complaining about. However, far be it from me to criticize without suggesting what could change to make playing "Out Of Order" a completely killer experience, and so it is my hope that perhaps the game could be improved upon by the original author in the following ways thus taking it's playability and fun factor into the stratosphere:
Logging into that DAMNED(!) computer was my first major obstacle. For the most part, this is a fair puzzle, requiring you to read the Radio Times and the postcard in the meeting organizer's room and study the things in his office, paying attention to the clues and getting inside his head to discover his password for the computer. Figuring out the password was tough, but I deduced it and felt really clever about it afterwards. Figuring out it's USERNAME, however, was a thorn. I realize this could easily be deduced from talking to Deirdre about the address on the correspondence he received from The Panel throughout the game. Okay, so what's the problem here?
The game chooses two letters randomly as the initials for the username each time a new game is played, and the two letters it chose for my game just happened to be, of all things, UP. You can see where this caused a boatload of confusion for me, as I naturally thought that UP was referring to a direction and not a random combination of letters...this was, after all, supposed to be an address.
In retrospect, simply changing the game so that it filters out most two-letter combinations which make actual words may eliminate this misunderstanding in the future.
Some vital objects in the game were especially hard to locate because of the small size of their registering areas, such as the panel on the stereo in your room and the coin in the metal box at the Sweaty Palms Tavern. Of course, Out Of Order isn't the only game of this type guilty of this sin of game design, but I would much rather spend my time figuring out the various puzzles than figuring out where everything is. It's hard enough to figure out how to make progress in these games by manipulating the various objects and environments...there's no need to frustrate the player further by making them play hide-and-go-seek with the cursor. "Hunt The Pixel" games are the graphic adventure equivalents of text adventures' "Guess The Verb" games and are NOT FUN! Give me a very clear and VISIBLE set of circumstances to work with and let me figure out the rest, thank you.
Considering that all games that I have played of this type featured characters which were their own cursor-active hotspots and did not have any extra cursor-active hotspots hidden within them, how in the HELL was I supposed to know that I was supposed to pickpocket the guard who watches over my bedroom doorway to lift his I.D. card off of him?!!? Neither the guard or the game makes any indication that the card is in the guard's back pocket, or that he even HAS A BACK POCKET! And it's made worse by the fact that the game desgner went through the trouble of writing a very elaborate conversation tree you can use with the guard when you talk to him...but it offered no clue?!? No excuse for this!
Figuring out how to get the guard to turn his back on me was easy. Couldn't he have said something beforehand along the lines of "Don't give me any crap, or I'll pull my tazer out of my back pocket and blow you into next week!" everytime you opened the door? Then, at least, the player coold have figured out that maybe they needed to try to lift the guard's tazer and shoot him with it. The attempt would be unsuccessful, but they would manage to get the guard's I.D. card instead, which the guard would not have noticed before he zapped you thus resetting the room/situation. It could have also served, in later unsuccessful attempts, as a temporary distraction from the real answer to the puzzle, which was to give the Stuff-Stik to the guard and make him think it was chewing gum thus causing him gastric distress. (That, by the way, was HILARIOUS!)
As was stated by many others, the puzzle involving getting the MotorTroll to lift the password from the security computer outside the auditorium was just WAY too obscure and completely illogical.
I did catch the subtle clue from Urban Leopard's posting board about the MotorTroll only being used to screw over the Klaxon Empire, but their are still several things wrong with this puzzle. The MotorTroll gives you every indication that it is working directly on the security computer itself, NOT considering what the sign above it says! And why should it? Changing a label on a video game cartridge does not turn it into a new game, because the circuitry and chips inside are the same. So why should changing the label on a security computer fare any different, especially when you consider that the sign and the security computer register as two completely different objects? Uncalled for! This is actually one of those "You've GOT to be kidding me" puzzles.
Logic and reasoning tell me that in a world containing technology this advanced, a sentient security computer that knows it's own password is going to have it's manufacturing code imprinted somewhere in it's own circuitry. Perhaps if the MotorTroll itself indicated to you that because of what it saw on the sign above it that it could not lift the password from the security computer, the player would have thought to cover it over with something...namely the bumper sticker! And, if the player used the MotorTroll to scan the device again and it indicated that it could not lift the password from any machine created by Relaxman Industries, the fact that the player would have had to change what that bumper sticker said might become a little more obvious. How to do that, however, was not so obvious, and that's another thing...
I would have never thought, in one million years, that you could take the red letters from the reassuring sign at the office building to use on the bumper sticker above the security computer. There were subtle clues, such as letters already missing in the sign, and an indication when you look at the "Surgery" sign in the back alley that someone ripped the original sign off. But these clues are way too vague, and the latter is too far away for the player to make any logical connection. Perhaps if the reassuring message had been similarly placed on the wall of the back alley, with the specific "OK" letters missing and the message that someone had ripped the letters off attached to that sign instead, it would have given the player a subtle clue while still being a fairly tough puzzle. I'm suggesting this because pegging the "OK" letters on the reassuring sign outside the office building as "Loose Letters" would have been a dead giveaway. But the fact that no clue or indication whatsoever was given in the game that those letters could be removed advanced this puzzle from tough to downright impossible to figure out.
Okay, last one. Consider this situation from the game. You have a pen, and Hurlong refuses to use it to write on just about anything for most of the game. Now, through various manipulations by you of the computer system, you are given three(!) applications for a dating service. You need to get Sylvia out of her apartment and also get Urban Leopard out of the Doctor's basement. So what do we do? We set them up on a date! So far so good! Now, we BS them both into filling out two of the date applications intending to file them with the computer on level 162 of the apartment building, and you have one blank left. Which one are you going to try to use the pen on? The ones that are already filled out, or the one that is blank? Of course, logic and reasoning tells us to fill out the one that's blank...
You actually have to use the pen on the ones that are filled out already, matching up the two applicant's interests so the ultra-picky computer system which Bob indicated only matches up people who are 90% compatible will set them up on a date and cause them to leave their rooms. I would have never figured out this puzzle without the benefit of a walkthrough, especially when you consider the presence of the third date application in the game which for all intents and purposes is the only object in the game that's a red herring.
Bottom line, this is a NASTY puzzle that MUST GO. Get rid of the pen and the third application and make the computer system less picky. All there is to it, this is way too obscure to figure out. In the real world, logic and reasoning tell us to fill out things that are BLANK, not already filled out. And since most situations in these types of games require us to logically reason and deduce...
I would play it but i hate downloading games that I will probably not play alot maybe if theres a browser version?
This is the most fun game I've ever played. Yes it does have a few flaws but I am stuck at the door upstairs at Mrs Jones, she will not let me get the message where you give her the car/with the doll!
If any of you are stuck at the job opening at Bob's Pile, just read the "Newspaper" in inventory. Also it is easy to get you log in user name at the PC, but I can not figure out the password....I have tried everything including the hint about the code?
Anyone care to reply?