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Drive-in Reviews 

Author: Douglas C. Rogers
Date: 1987

What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction. If you likely to be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not to open these files.

Reviewed by Robb

Dear God, this is Robb Sherwin on planet earth. I know it's been far too long since I've spoken with you. I haven't been even a very good Methodist. I apologize for that. I have to admit that recently, I've been quite scared of the future. It struck me, the other day, that I'm now twenty-six years old. Twenty-six years. Sure, I think I have a good thing going right now, but it has taken me over a quarter century to get my life to this point. Previously, I have lived my existence with, I should admit, a certain smugness because I always had on my side the glamour of youth. Most of my friends were three years older than me, so my young age was, of course, somewhat reinforced. It's not working out that way anymore.

I've done a lot of living in the last couple of years. I've moved from the town that I suppose I used to presume I'd die in, to this place in the mountains which has all the opportunity I've ever wanted. I guess I've been able to make something of my time here on this little jewel of a world, in a very small way. But I'd been constantly tortured by my past. I... I guess I just have a lot of things that were unresolved.

Girls I should have told my true feelings to. Classes I should have studied harder for. Friends I should have made more of an effort to stay in contact with. Family members I should have spent more time visiting. It's all slipping away, this "time," this "life." I don't know. I've been thinking about what is west of the mountains recently. Do you remember that game I used to play, over at Jeff's house? I think it was for the Turbo Duo. It Came From The Desert was what it was called. I know this seems foolish, but being this close to, well, the desert, I've had a real sense of wonder as to what lays out there. There's just something about being able to look out and see the stars. Knowing everyone who lives in your little speedbump town personally. Having a skill, I guess, that no-one else for 250 miles around you has. And, I guess, even the love of a funny, passionate, desert-born woman. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to live life at a somewhat slower pace.

It's hot in the desert, though.

But I think I can manage it. I know I've always been a kid that has loved the snow, the rain and the sleet... but maybe I'm changing a bit in that regard as I get older as well. See, even though I've been a lazy Christian, I think I have recently gained an appreciation of what it must be like to spend some time in a blistering inferno.

I recently downloaded Drive-In off the GMD text adventure archive. I can't imagine the brimstone-inspired devil's circus that is Hell to be much worse than forcibly spending an evening attempting to play this "game." No, really. It, for example, did not support any sort of "examine" or "look" verb. It featured a help system designed to intentionally cut off help during the game's only marginally interesting bit. It... it allowed me to get "lost" by moving two rooms to the west, as if I were role-playing a species of drooling cumgoblin that didn't have a basic sense of direction to get back to his car where a sexy girl was. Did I mention that your only recourse is to re-load a game or start over after getting "lost"? I should mention that. From start to finish, Drive-In was one of the most anti-intuitive and poorly programmed "computer game" I have ever had the sad misfortune to play in my life.

What? Well, the author knew how to turn CAPS LOCK on through, presumably, an assembler command. Or something. And... well, his game still works correctly after 13 years of Microsoft internal changes to its DOS.

But, no, really. I have looked the endless inferno which is my possible damnation straight in the eyes. And I have not flinched. I think, really, I can now handle the temperatures I might see in, say, Nevada or Arizona during the dog days of summer.

So... uh... well, I'm not looking for a sign or anything, or any kind of indication from you as to whether or not I should move. I think I'm going to try to get a "second opinion," though, and just see what happens. I found another game based in the desert; I bought it off eBay. (eBay's this crazy on-line auction thingie that lets you get old stuff other people don't want anymore). I hope this new one will give me the rosy feeling that "It Came..." gave me. It's called Leather Goddesses of Phobos II. We'll just see where that takes me, okay?

Please bless mom, dad, Mike and Corky. Thank you for everything.


Simple Rating: 0.7 / 10

Complicated Rating:

Story: 0 / 10 (You're at a drive-in. You need to have sex with a girl. I realize I'm describing plot, but work with me here.)

Writing: 1 / 10 (Is it the shoddy programming which makes me hate the writing, or the sparse, questionable writing which makes me loathe the programming?)

Playability: 0 / 10 (Someone make the bleeding stop.)

Puzzle Quality: 0.6 / 10 (There's some potential here... to see it developed fully, play anything by Newkid.)

Parser Responsiveness: 0 / 10 (Possibly the worst parser I have ever encountered)


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