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The Adventures of Space Boy! Volume II Reviews
Author: David Parish
Date: 2007

Reviewed by David Whyld

Time to finish: about twenty minutes

Cheated to finish it? Password protected and no hints. Fortunately, aside from some guess the verb issues, there's nothing likely to cause you any problems here.

I played the first volume of The Adventures of Space Boy a while back and can’t really say I cared much for it. Too many items you can’t examine, too little depth and, as far as I remember, more than a few bugs. But, undaunted, I decided to give the sequel a try.

It follows on directly from the first game with the player, a superhero by the name of Space Boy, searching for his companion Wonder Dog who has been taken by Evil Man. You’ve managed to track this nasty piece of work across the galaxy to the planet of Aquas, which, it seems, has just been attacked by pirates and is pretty much lying in ruins. Not a nice place to start looking for your erstwhile companion.

There are a few puzzles [1] to solve, but these are generally so easy and straightforward that it’s hard to imagine anyone having any real problems with them. One part that gave me trouble – questioning an NPC [3] – in the end turned out not to be necessary as I finished the game without getting a single useful response from the NPC in question. Whether he was there for a purpose or simply scenery I'm not sure. There's no score for the game (despite it (permanently set to 0) being displayed on the tool bar at the bottom of the screen), so it’s hard to know if you’re making any real progress. I found a couple of items that didn’t have any apparent use so maybe there's more to the game than what I saw; but, as I said, with no score and no indication of other endings it’s hard to know if these things have a purpose or if they're simply red herrings.

I'm going to hazard a guess that the game has neither been proofread or betatested (at least by anyone other than the author). There are more than a few typos [4] and too many things have been missed out – item descriptions, commands that reasonably should work [5] – that any half decent tester would have picked up on. Although even allowing for the lack of testers, it’s still disappointing how many problems there are with the game given its small size and lack of complexity.

As stated above, this is a very short game and not a particularly interesting one. Even allowing for the time I wasted trying to converse with Mr. McConkey, I was through the entire thing from start to finish in little more than twenty minutes. It ends somewhat suddenly – with Space Boy setting off in a raft towards the small island where he believes Wonder Dog is being held captive – and without anything significant happening along the way. The entire game seems to consist of nothing more than Space Boy simply walking around a small town, picking up a few items and then setting off in a raft. Aren't superheroes supposed to save the world and defeat evil supervillains?

There are a number of oddities/flaws in the game which seem to have been included more to slow down progress than anything else. Space Boy arrived on the island by flying there yet is prevented from leaving in the same manner, thus requiring him to search around for a means to cross the sea to the next island. He finds a raft in an abandoned store, yet even though it’s abandoned and he’s in desperate need of the raft, he can’t simply take it but has to pay for it. Only, naturally, he has no money and so is required to hunt around for some. Strangely enough, he has no compunction about taking some crackers from another location. Apparently superheroes have strange ideas about what constitutes theft.

All in all, disappointing. A lot more time and effort needs to be expended on the game. Give it a purpose, give it a proper objective instead of simply wandering around and performing dull tasks. Space Boy is supposed to be a superhero – why doesn’t he get to do anything super or heroic? At the very least, try to make a game about a superhero in search of a kidnapped companion be a bit more interesting than what we have here.


[1] Most consist of locating an item (none of which are especially difficult to find in a game with as few locations as this one) and then finding a use for them [2].

[2] Also very easy. The locations don’t really have a lot of things to do in them and so generally when you find an item, it’s not hard to figure out where you need to go and what you need to do with it. The game even hints, strongly, that something floatable is needed to cross the sea in case you hadn’t figured that out for yourself already.

[3] It uses the ASK [NAME] ABOUT [SUBJECT] format and while I managed to get a few responses (all lacking speech marks alas), none of them really seemed to change anything. The biggest problem, though, stemmed from the NPC being referred to as Mr. McConkey but, due to ADRIFT treating the full stop as being the divider between one command and another, it’s impossible to refer to Mr. McConkey as Mr. McConkey. ADRIFT sees “Mr. McConkey” and processes it as “Mr” and “McConkey” and thus throws a wobbly when trying to process the command. Annoyingly, attempts to engage Mr. McConkey in conversation still advise me to USE THE FORMAT "ASK MR. MCCONKEY ABOUT [SUBJECT]” even though this won’t work. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t understand “McConkey” either so you have to refer to him as “man” even when you know what his name is. See what I mean about the lack of testing?

[4] Bisquit (sic) ?

[5] I can’t take the broom but no reason is given for this.

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