Slouching Towards Bedlam

Slouching Towards Bedlam is an interactive fiction game that places you in the shoes of the administrator of an insane asylum in a steampunk version of London. What's not to love about that? The stage is set by an ominous recording being played over a phonograph in a cluttered office. The asylum itself seems fairly normal, for an asylum. Things, however, are definitely not normal.

The way the player is given control over the story of Slouching Towards Bedlam is definitely interesting. Saying too much would spoil it, however expect multiple endings and unexpected consequences.

The setting is brought to life through some great, moody writing. It's unmistakably a horror story, the first room is filled with a sense of unsettling discomfort at your surroundings. It definitely feels like an insane asylum. The descriptions combine with the unusual nature of the narrative to give an odd sense of being disturbed, in a good way.

Why You Should Check This Out: What sells Slouching Towards Bedlam is the atmosphere: a steampunk insane asylum, brought to life in a very unsettling way. Interesting interaction between the player's actions and the narrative make this more than just a standard text adventure.

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Comments

A very fine game. One of the two that beat out my game in the IF Comp that year. And deservedly so.

This is the first interactive fiction game I've played in years. I ran through it during a particularly boring accounting class one evening last Fall.

Only takes a few hours, but tells a thought-provoking story. It's a pretty good example of what the genre is capable of, I think.

LOVED this game. Played all the IF comp winners a few years ago for an article, and this is the only one whose plot really stuck with me.

One should always slouch toward Bedlam. They interpret good posture as a sign of possession by evil demons.

Also be aware that there are several possible endings. I think 5 in all. (Can't remember for sure, it's been 6 years since I played it.)

I think I have to play this just for the name. If it doesn't have a creature with a lion's body and the head of a man, though, I will be disappointed.

OK, umm... For grins I wanted to punch James, the assistant, the first person you meet.

Apparently when you punch someone you follow through with stabbing them to death.

Why did I murder James?

I also keep seeing weird messages that don't make sense, like:

/(yesdoneyes)\

When I killed James I saw /(!NO!)\.

Is it supposed to look like this, or is my thingy not compiling something right?

LobsterMobster wrote:

OK, umm... For grins I wanted to punch James, the assistant, the first person you meet.

Apparently when you punch someone you follow through with stabbing them to death.

Why did I murder James?

I also keep seeing weird messages that don't make sense, like:

/(yesdoneyes)

When I killed James I saw /(!NO!).

Is it supposed to look like this, or is my thingy not compiling something right?

I haven't made it that far yet, but I could have told you long ago that your thingy is broken.

LobsterMobster wrote:

I also keep seeing weird messages that don't make sense, like:

/(yesdoneyes)

When I killed James I saw /(!NO!).

Is it supposed to look like this, or is my thingy not compiling something right?

It's intentional.

LobsterMobster wrote:

OK, umm... For grins I wanted to punch James, the assistant, the first person you meet.

Apparently when you punch someone you follow through with stabbing them to death.

Why did I murder James?

I don't know, Lobster. Why do you so often shoot your teammates in L4D? I just assumed you were a murderous psychopath!

This work is included with the iPhone/iPod Touch version of Frotz. Awesome!

One sad thing to note: one of the two authors of this game, Star Foster, passed away three years after it was released, at the far too young age of 33.

OK, so MrWynd tells me it's obviously broken and adam tells me it's not.

Dammit!

LobsterMobster wrote:

OK, so MrWynd tells me it's obviously broken and adam tells me it's not.

Dammit!

MrWynd wasn't talking about the game though.

Quintin_Stone wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

OK, so MrWynd tells me it's obviously broken and adam tells me it's not.

Dammit!

MrWynd wasn't talking about the game though.

Just to avoid confusion, MrWynd was insulting your manhood, Lobster.

PyromanFO wrote:
Quintin_Stone wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

OK, so MrWynd tells me it's obviously broken and adam tells me it's not.

Dammit!

MrWynd wasn't talking about the game though.

Just to avoid confusion, MrWynd was insulting your manhood, Lobster.

I had to bring this thread back to make sure there was clarification:

Any sentence I make that *could* be considered as an insult to Lobster's manhood - it is.