Thursday, October 13, 2016

Circus Reviews - 16 Ways To Kill A Vampire At McDonald's

IF Comp is here again, and I didn't enter like I'd planned to. I may be stuck in a hole, but darned if I won't pull something down here with me. So let's play some IF Comp games!

The game centers around a vampire hunter named Lucy who generally just acts as bait for the undead creatures and doesn't do much of the heavy lifting herself. But on her night off, she wanders into a McDonald's and comes face to face with a vampire, with no backup and an adorable cashier to protect. With time ticking down before the vampire makes a move and no way to tackle the vampire head-on, how will Lucy manage to save the day?

I normally tend to go for the story-driven IF games, such as those by kaleidofish, but the bulk of this one's gameplay involves trying to figure out how to kill the vampire with your limited surroundings and whatever knowledge of traditional vampire myths you have. Pretty much all of the common ones can be used in some way, which is helpful in that it doesn't have to go into a bunch of tedious exposition, but a McDonald's doesn't have a ton of options when it comes to religious paraphernalia, for example, and thus creative thinking is required. This game in particular makes more use of your inventory than most of the IF games I've played. You actually start with a few items that turn out to be extremely helpful, which I did not realize my first few times through the game.

The vampire itself is treated as the villain, and it feels like that's gotten so rare in a world where Twilight is part of general history. Part of the vampire's plan does involve seduction, but it's not treated as anything attractive; it's treated like a predator hunting prey. Lucy herself takes the entire thing as just part of her duty, and treats the seduction thing as simply something to be dealt with. She's fairly no-nonsense in general, but cares about the safety and well-being of other people and thinks on her feet. You might trust her for help with a supernatural being trying to kill you after spending a game with her.

The game has sixteen different endings (of course), and there's a helpful list that details each ending and gives a hint for the ones you haven't gotten yet. As you play through the game, you also get bonus content, like vampire facts and a more spoofy sequel wherein Lucy gets to bring her two friends, Maggie and Luke, along to hunt even more vampires. The amount of content here is happily surprising considering it's a free IF game. There is also a "true ending" that I haven't quite unlocked yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

All in all, this is well worth the time you'll put into it. It has massive replay value and good goals to work towards. It's not a particularly deep game and maybe not filled with a bunch of new ideas, but there's also something refreshing about treating a villainous predator like a villainous predator.

And maybe, you'll never look at a McDonald's the same way again.

16 Ways To Kill A Vampire At McDonald's is available to play in browser through IFComp.

Final verdict: A simple but enjoyable game about good old-fashioned vampire killing, with enough replayability and bonus content to make it well worth your while.

16 Ways To Kill A Vampire At McDonald's is developed by Abigail Corfman. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

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