Little Blue Men
is an excellent absurdist sci-fi game that gets my vote for the best underdog of the 4th Annual IF Competition. The game?s seventh-place finish belies the author?s unique, experimental, and some would say daring approach to writing a non-traditional IF about subversion that truly bring a fresh air into the genre. As with all good suspense story, the game begins with a normal day that that quickly evolves into a series of bizarre events. You will watch incredulously as your protagonist?an average working Joe, Dilbert-type character?descends into paranoia as events happen around him in ways that fans of 1984
will find captivating. The puzzles are strange, but logical throughout. One of the things I like most about Blue Men
is the ending, which is one of the best I?ve ever seen in an IF game. This passage from Duncan Steven?s thorough SPAG review
says it all: "In fact, one of the best and most frustrating things about the game is the ending: the effect is both surreal and disturbing. It is not clear that the player has "won" when he or she reaches the end of the game; there is good reason, in fact, for thinking that the end of the story is merely another ending, no better than the "deaths" you can die earlier on.... [W]hereas other games have given a clear resolution without allowing the player to "win," in the sense of resolving the problem or riding into the sunset with the treasure, Blue Men
raises the distinct possibility that it might have been better not to reach that ending at all. It's a unique feeling that, unfortunately, doesn't necessarily make for a satisfying game experience, assuming the player realizes what's going on at all."
Not satisfying, perhaps, but very evocative?there have been very few games since Infocom?s Infidel that manage to make the players think about what the ending really means. Overall, if you like traditional IF, Blue Men probably will not appeal to you. On the other hand, if you are willing to forego a few conventions, you?ll appreciate Little Blue Men for what it is: a fun, thought-provoking, and unique game. Highly recommended!