[IF Competition] Beta Tester

Today's spoiler space: I've begun getting pages together over at IFWiki about individual blogs. I started with Renga in Blue and Illuminated Lantern, and I'll probably be doing my own next. If you want to help keeping all that great information in all these great blogs accessible (in the sense that people will be able to find it), why don't you join in the fun? My basic plan is to do the individual blogs first, and then make pages for each of the topics discussed which would link to all the specific blog posts about that topic. Anyway--a big project that I might not want to be doing alone. (Though the good thing about a project like this is that every little contribution to it is already useful in itself.)

That's probably enough?

Not that I'm going to spoil Beta Tester all that much. Another game I didn't finish and that I probably won't be voting on, since it annoyed and bored me, but in a way that makes it conceivable that there is something good going on somewhere.

You start in a room where you have to solve the ultimate unmotivated, nonsensical puzzle. And the walkthrough is hidden behind the command "walkthru", which I only found because of somebody else's blog. And there was a major guess-the-whatever problem when "put hamster in treadmill" didn't work. Turns out you have to type "put hamster on treadmill", but you know, when I hear "hamster" and "treadmill" I think of exactly the things you see when you do a Google Image Search on those words. And those are containers, not supporters. Anyway, there should have been a more helpful response here then "That cannot contain things".

Helpful is in fact not what the game is. It is snarky, nasty, attempting to humiliate you. And you know? That might be what makes this game interesting, for there might be some grand revelation related to this general nastiness. Perhaps you can enter the programming room and kill all the people who taunted you, or something. Or sue their asses.

But I'm not willing to find out, not after consulting the annoying walkthrough several times and then spending a couple of minutes playing--you'll never guess--rock, paper, scissors.

Which reminds me of a brilliant Gary Larson cartoon, but I can't find it on the net. He's pretty strict about people posting his cartoons, I seem to remember. (How terribly 20th century of you, Mr. Larson!)

So, well. No insights. Tell me if I missed something great here.


  1. I feel a little more forgiving of the "put hamster on treadmill" problem, given the number of times I've typed "up" to get up from a chair or bed, only to be told "you can't go that direction." (And there's a similar container/supporter issue underlying both problems, isn't there?) Also, I envisioned the treadmill as more like the treadmills you get if you search for "treadmill" without "hamster"; the other sort I think of as "wheels," and indeed you can find many pictures of them by searching for "hamster wheel." Though when one puts hamster and treadmill together, one does think of those wheels.

    It was the rest of that puzzle that broke my brain -- I could not picture what might possibly go with what.

  2. I broke that first puzzle. Turns out that when you do the last step, it just assumes you've done all the preceding steps (or at least, it assumes some of them). It had me confused for a moment. I wondered if I was meant to do it that way. It's called Beta Tester, after all - maybe it was like Anssi Räisänen's Bugged, where you were intended to have to exploit the bugs to proceed? Turned out not, sadly - unless I missed something. It was just plain buggy.

    Anyway, my favourite part of this game was a snarky error message in the first room. (If you're wondering, it's the response to PUT RING ON CLASP.) So no, I wouldn't say you missed anything by skipping the rest of the game.

  3. We actually enjoyed the hell out of this one, finding it by far the most genuinely funny game of the Comp. While it was often rather underimplemented, we didn't even run into a lot of outright bugs.

    From reading what other reviewers had to say, I suspect my score is going to be on the positive side of the standard deviation. :)


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