You Find Yourself in a Room
There are many things we all take for granted on a daily basis. We stand firm in our belief that the sun will rise tomorrow, the earth is round, and that interactive fiction (IF) will follow standard game conventions. But does this have to be the case? What if the sun decides to take a holiday for a change and leave us in perpetual darkness? Or what if indeed there be dragons and an extreme ocean drop-off when taking that next long seafaring cruise? Or how about if the computer narrator in a text adventure challenges and belittles your very existence as you attempt to play? While the first two possibilities are pretty unlikely, Eli Piilonen, the author of Viricide and The Company of Myself has crafted a short piece of IF that plays with your notions of how a text adventure is supposed to work in You Find Yourself In A Room, or YFYIAR for short.
YFYIAR starts off like any standard escape-themed, text-based IF experience before things get weird. As expected, you type in one or two words, such as LOOK or OPEN DOOR, to interact with your environment. The computer narrator is somewhat helpful at first, but as you play, the comments begin to get a bit snarky and insulting regarding your perceived human inferiority. This becomes more and more blatant to the point of being darkly comedic. Soon it feels like you're in a text adventure from hell being run by a mix between a profane GlaDOS and a hostile version of Marvin the Paranoid Android. And no matter what you do, you always find yourself in yet another room.
Without ruining the experience, YFYIAR takes you on a strange trip that stretches the confines of most text adventures, leaving you with what can be described as an existentialist IF experience. The drama of your absurd situation is enhanced by intense synthesized background music, which sounds like something out of the Half Life soundtrack. While the game feels a bit too short and isn't very challenging as far as gameplay goes, the point of the experience is to take you on a journey beyond your comfort zone, which YFYIAR does well. So give it a shot, puny human; escape from the room, if you can.
Note: This title is actually a sequel of sorts to Viricide, which references a computer intelligence called ABOMI (Absolutely Omniscient Intelligence) that forces its users to play text adventures. Though not named directly in the game, that intelligence is clearly in full effect here.