First of all, you’ll notice this isn’t 1990 by SpectreSoft – the game simply can not be found and it is highly likely it was never released. So we move on…
Here we have another short game written in the Inform 6 system by Admiral Jota in 2001. This time it was submitted to the Speed-IF 17 competition. I’m playing release 1 of the game. In fact, Admiral Jotter organised Speed-IF 17!
The premise for Speed-IF 17: Your game will be set on one or several floors of a thirty-story building in Manhattan. At the beginning of the game, it’s ten in the evening on December 31, 2002. On every floor, the New Year’s bash is going on — the people in their high-rise apartments, the rented-out function halls, even the office workers stuck here late. Fireworks are scheduled to begin over the water promptly at midnight. Unfortunately, the building will be taken over by terrorists at eleven-thirty — they’ve infiltrated the maintenance staff and have been surreptitiously placing bombs in various locations throughout the building during the past few months, all set to go off at different times later that evening if their demands aren’t met.
So, the title 2604 refers to an apartment number here, not, as I thought initially, a year! We are told right at the beginning that we are to meet up with a Mr Reginald Halvers at a New Year’s Eve party where we hope to provide him with a prototype microchip worth a lot of money on the black market.
Off we go then. We start in the 26th floor lobby and can immediately see signs pointing the way to various room numbers. We already know (or at least it should be obvious) that we need room 2604, so now we know we need to go East from here. Nothing too tricky so far! But probably best to see what we’re carrying and check this microchip out.
Ah! So after inspecting the papers it seems we are playing as Reginald Halvers – that wasn’t too clear at the start. Better check the envelope out.
The game leads us to room 2604 quite quickly, and it is here we see people milling around, drinking, enjoying food, all the stuff you’d expect at a party. There is a lot in the descriptions of these rooms set as pure backdrop, and most are red herrings – so be careful not to spend too much time looking at stuff that isn’t required. You may not know what is relevant, of course, on your first play.
Our target is soon found and the envelope can be handed over and your payment collected. Job done, and our score is increased by one whole point!
Well, job not quite done of course. The usual exploration and logic solving is required now in order to escape the hotel with our prize, and it isn’t easy. Everything you need to escape is provided, and you will need to examine a few more things on your way out of 2604 and back again, but it took me quite a few play-throughs to do it in 39 moves and score my very healthy 2 points!
Time is of the essence here, and if you spend too long looking at things you don’t need to look at, or doing things in the wrong order which requires you to travel back and forth along the corridor, time (moves) will run out and you will lose the game. Oh, and you’ll die.
All in all 2604 was a fun game – much more of a puzzle than previous games, and much nicer to play for many reasons. The parser is typical Inform 6 and the atmosphere and gameplay are certainly entertaining.
Map here, behind a spoiler as it gives quite a bit away.
Given the game was speed coded in 2 hours, and there was a scenario that had to be followed, I think this shows that Admiral Jota has an adventurer’s brain!
It’s not clear if the Admiral himself ported 2604 to the Commodore 64, but he has done several more adventure games (see the link in the opening paragraph) and I am hoping some of them at least made it across, so this may well not be the last we see of him on this blog. And going by the quality of this short adventure, I hope our paths meet again.
2604 is included in the GB64 database v 18.