Eric the Unready is basically the Bored of the Rings of adventure games - a free-ranging parody of the adventure game genre and pop culture, which focuses on National Lampoon-style sophomoric humor over storytelling or making sense. The whole game is basically a trip from one gag situation to another, as inept knight Eric goes on a quest to recover five mystical items.

It's an old-school Infocom-style text adventure at its core, but overlaid with some GUI elements to make it more palatable to a modern audience. You type commands into a parser, but displays to the right of the action give you the full list of verbs that the game recognizes, all the usable items and objects on the given screen, and a compass with all available movement directions, all of which are mouse-clickable. But these can also be turned off for the text adventure purist.

The game is pretty simple and easy. It's divided into a series of small, distinct areas, usually with only ten to fifteen screens each. Unneeded items are automatically removed between scenarios, and I don't think there is a way to get into an unwinnable situation. There are a few deaths, but not many, and you kind of have to be going out of your way to hit upon them. With the areas being so small and self-contained, and the inventory limited, the puzzles are thus pretty simple and straightforward.

The game gets better about challenge as it wears on, as does nearly everything else - the music improves and the humor gets sharper and funnier as well. The "Mad Magazine" style of the comedy here is pretty hit-or-miss, though, and there's more than a few misses. And the whole thing is really weighted to a pretty hardcore nerd demographic. The references are mostly to other adventure games of the time, Monty Python, Tolkien and Star Trek, and the game relies so much on humor to sustain it that if you don't get them there's really not much other reason to play. And even though it has a mouse interface, you still really need to be into text adventures since the graphics are the simplest of static backgrounds and repetitive characters. Still, it'll please the (now both shrinking and aging) subset of gamers it was written for.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video

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