for PC (DOS)

Mr Creosote:
Company: Infocom
Year: 1987
Genre: Adventure
Theme: Humour / Text-based
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 23904
Review by Mr Creosote (2000-06-23)

Infocom's text adventures are known to be the best. Their game engine with its great parser was used for a large variety of masterpieces. Bureaucracy is one of those. What it makes superior to most of its "colleagues" is the hilarious plot. It was written by Steve Meretzky (Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Stationfall) and the well known author Douglas Adams. The two had collaborated before to convert Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy into a game.
You have just moved into your new house. Your new employer (the "Happitec Corporation") wants to send you on a holiday to Paris. Unfortunately, the spending money they promised you hasn't arrived yet. And your credit card has been invalidated by your bank. So you just wander around to find a way out of this mess.

From the beginning to the ending you stumble from one weird situation into the next. The developement in the plot may not be too logical, but playing the game you will just accept the sudden changes. Well, you wouldn't have time to think about it anyway. Adopting to the new irritating situation is hard enough most times!
The game basically consists of loosely linked events which all have something to do with bureaucracy. Their satirical value is in most cases very high. The funniest scenes are those dealing with everyday situations like drawing money from your bank account or ordering a burger in a restaurant. On the other hand there are also detailed described persons (e.g. the paranoid) who cause lots of humor. The first parts are so hilarious that everyone will forgive the weaker ending. While it is still funny, the satirical aspect is very much reduced then.
A special aspect in the game is based on this plot. Everytime you have to deal with non-working machines or ignorant clerks, your blood pressure rises. You should watch it carefully. If you don't you'll die. Some turns to relax are necessary from time to time. Not much of a danger, but it supports the athmosphere.
The other important aspect in adventures beside the story are the puzzles. Illogical ones can spoil the whole fun. But ridiculously easy ones are not better at all. Bureaucracy IS hard. But NOT impossible. Solving it without even looking in the walkthrough is something only very few people can manage. I couldn't. The bank puzzle was too hard for me. Try it and you'll know what I mean! Still, most of it IS logical, and can be found out with some thinking. Do yourself a favour and don't give up too early. There is no better feeling than to be aware of the fact that you've just been successful without fraud! Especially in this game.
Bureaucracy really represents interactive fiction's best side. You can almost feel the authors must have had much fun writing it! A game with heart and soul. Not one of those new cold polished best-sellers. And highly replayable, in spite of being an adventure.
If you never played a text adventure, Bureaucracy can be your way into it. Almost no time critical scenes, fair puzzles and a great story.

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