Bureaucracy and Broken Hinges

From time to time, I try to keep up my text adventure habit. After a period of being stuck in Guild of Thieves I decided to have a go on the Infocom side with Bureaucracy, which has the added advantage of having had Douglas Adams's input into it.

It's a fun enough game. The plot does have Adams's fingerprints on it, and the puzzles are varied and interesting. However, I think I've been spoilt by Magnetic Scrolls! I'm not too worried by the lack of pictures, but Bureaucracy is comparatively... spartan. The descriptions are short, the number of locations limited, and the structure quite linear. To compare, the total points in the game is 21, versus 500 or so for some other adventures. Admittedly, it gives out points one at a time, rather than in lumps of fives or tens, but this is still small.

Difficulty-wise, Bureaucracy is reckonned to be rather difficult. I found it straightforward with lumps of difficult. Of the twenty or so puzzles in the game, I got stuck on three. As I'm annoyingly time-limited nowadays, I resorted to spoilers. Rubbish me! Reading the answers generally made me feel rather silly - I should have got them! On the other hand, they really weren't straighforward. The game's sadistic sense of humour stretches to the puzzles. You might see how to solve a puzzle, but it'll set an obstacle in the way, and another. Oh, and the puzzle may involve an item from way earlier in the game you didn't know you needed. Nice.

Still, it really was a good pile of fun.

In other news, my MacBook Air continues to give hardware problems. I think the warranty-expiration timer must have fired. Closing it, the hinge made a funny noise, and it failed to shut. Further inspection revealed that the little metal bits had, well, kinda got out of sync. A bit of fiddling did get them back. However, the hinge cover ('antenna cover') is plastic, and the dislocated metal was levered into it, weakening the plastic. It's now broken, leaving a little hole in the hinge area. I think it provided a certain amount of pressure on the hinge, so the hinge is now a little weaker, and the screen tends to fall back.

Looking at the internet, I don't appear to be the only one - see here, for example. The replacement parts are hideously expensive, and to fix it involves removing pretty every internal component. I think I'll hold off for a while, after the last fix....

Posted 2010-06-06.