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Bureaucracy

Infocom info 1987

Language:
English
Authors:
Douglas Adams, Michael Bywater
Systems:
ZIL info
Platforms:
Amiga, Apple II, Atari ST, C64/128 info, PC, Z-Machine info
Genres:
Humour
Entered by:
Alex, Dorothy, Eriorg, Gunness, Mr Creosote
Added:
10-05-2010
Edited:
26-08-2015

Synopsis

Plot

Once upon a time, a man moved from one apartment in London to another. He dutifully notified everyone of his new address, including his bank; he went to the bank and filled out a change of address form himself. The man was very happy in his new apartment. Then, one day, the man tried to use his credit card but couldn't. He discovered that his bank had invalidated his credit card. Apparently, the bank had sent a new card to his old address. For weeks, this man tried to get the bank to acknowledge his change of address form. He talked to many blank officials, and filled out new forms, and tried to get a new credit card issued, but nothing worked. The man had no credit, and the bank behaved like, well, a bank.

It's a sad story, one that gets replayed every day for millions of people worldwide. Of course, sometimes it's not a bank at fault: sometimes it's the postal service, or an insurance company, or the telephone company, or an airline, or the Government. But all of us, at one time or another, feel persecuted by a bureaucracy.

Notes

After the tremendous success that was The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Infocom were set on starting work on the sequel.
However, Adams was more keen on writing a game based on his real-life experience with government bureaucracy after moving to a new address, and thus, Bureaucracy was born.

Initially Adams intended for Marc Blank to co-write the game, but as he was busy and Adams himself increasingly lost interest in the game, a long succession of Infocom staffers (10+) worked on it before it was completed by Michael Bywater. This background story story was revealed in an in-game easter egg.

More info can be found on IF-Wiki.

Commodore version is C128 only.

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Rating

Average User Rating: 6.7 (3 ratings)

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User Comments

Mr Creosote (19-05-2010 08:46)

Excellent first half, but the whole journey can't quite measure up.

Gunness (19-05-2010 08:47)

Agreed. Adams' humour is spot on, and the theme is relevant, but it felt like the game ran out of steam along the way.

Richard Bos (28-07-2014 17:55)

Typical Adams - the humour is spot on, the puzzles are just too random.