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Bureaucracy

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Released: 1987

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: PC - DOS

Publisher: Infocom

Developer: Infocom

Apparently, Douglas Adams (of classic text adventure ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ fame) had in real life encountered a series of bureaucratic bungles upon changing his home residence. He subsequently decided it might just be a great idea to project his resulting pain onto his adoring fans by way of his follow-up text adventure – in, of course, the most hilarious way possible, and this game to mine was the popular author’s best work in terms of computer software, and in line quality-wise with any of his best written works.

With your blood pressure rising at every wrong move you make (make too many and you will die from an aneurysm), you will encounter practically every bureaucratic error conceivable – and many you couldn’t possibly dream of – whether it be by bank, postal service, credit card service or otherwise. Adams’ penchant for stringing along jokes endlessly make this a masterful excursion in parser-driven word-guessing-olympics and one in which you will find yourself laughing out loud numerous times. The purposefully-designed maddening frustration you will experience is nicely softened though by the hint-sheet or solution you will undoubtedly scramble for, because unless you are an A-grade genius, you are not going to complete this on your own, nosiree. But even completing it with cheats at times, or even completely, takes away little from the experience in my opinion.

The original game came with one of the best ever set of extras in a software package including pamphlets, fliers and other things related to the game and all presented with the inimitable Douglas Adams humour.

So if you haven’t heard of or played this game but love Adams’ work, then I suggest you hunt it down without haste because it’s the funniest text adventure – or even computer game for that matter – ever made in my opinion, and criminal that it hasn’t been recognised as such!