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A jam submission


The research base staff on the planet Euripedes have mysteriously vanished - can you find and rescue them?
Submitted by Lazzah — 5 hours, 51 minutes before the deadline
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I was left with six games I hadn't reviewed, three days before the end, and I thought I ought to at least try some of the ones left.  This looked promising from the description, so I figured I would give it a shot.

Before I got very far at all, I encountered things like "the Zen, the Boone, the Jones, the Davey and the Foley are here"; not a bug, but it did suggest some lack of attention to detail. In the airlock, when I gave the command press yellow button the game told me "You press the green button but nothing happens"; then press button it asks me which of the three I meant, red, yellow, or green (but there are only two described on the panel and no sign of a red button).  Much closer to bug status.

So, all right, I get inside, I'm looking at the control panels, eventually I decide to look at the walkthrough (and somehow I can't manage to find that; maybe the walkthrough is under another console, don't ask me how I've failed to see it).  Which leads me to Google, which leads me to, which leads me to endorse everything in that review.  (Maybe not the BDSM analogy?  But pretty much everything.)  In fact, once that review told me what I was missing, I finally did look under the console, and then open the compartment, and behold, a switch.  So I said get main switch and it told me I was already holding it.  (Dear reader, I was not.)

From there it only got worse.  I got the switch from the compartment and tried to replace it but needed a screwdriver (ugh), so I went north and, per the abovelinked review, did the whole fuse box thing.  But when I tried to flip the switch, it thought I meant the one I was carrying, so I went south, dropped it, went back north, and did the switch-flipping thing.  (Well, switch-turning thing.  "Flip" is what I do with a switch, but maybe the author doesn't.)  Then I went back south and tried to get the main switch again...and once again the game told me I was already holding it.  Once again, I was not, and now I didn't have the handy "take switch from compartment" command to take it.

So on the one hand, like Mike Russo, I found this game very much not to my tastes.  On the other, I encountered very early at least one game-breaking bug, and while several people have said that it gets more interesting as it goes on, I'm afraid I won't ever find out.

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For the record--since the deleted comment here suggests that maybe I was confusing this with some other game--my browsing history tells me that what I was playing was, as opposed to the "v3" you now get from clicking the green arrow.  Clearly this was an old version of the game, but it's not like I deliberately sought out the older version (and I had no way of knowing it wasn't the most recent).

Just a little more on the basic (IMHO) unfriendliness of the game.

> You call Lieutenant Zen on your comm unit.
> "Zen here, captain," he answers promptly. "Any instructions, sir?"
> 1: "What is your position?"
> 2: "Did you find anything on your search?"
> 3: "Jones and Foley are missing, I need you to return here immediately."
> ➢ 1
> You ask Zen what his position is.
> "We're in the base's gymnasium, sir," he tells you. "Kelly here is itching to have a go on some of the exercise machines!" he chuckles.
> "Well tell her she can exercise all the time she wants to once we've solved this problem," you tell him and you hear Lance-Corporal Davey laugh.
> ➢ talk to zen
> You can't see Lieutenant Zen!
> ➢ call zen
> There is no reason for you to call Lieutenant Zen at this particular time.
> ➢ e
> Maybe you should stay here until you have spoken with Lieutenant Zen?

It turns out I was still talking to Zen, and typing "2" in fact triggered conversation 2.  But the game didn't tell me that that was still an option--it looked like the conversation had ended--and when I tried to continue the conversation, it gave me error messages.

I'll grant that it may be a convention of Inform games that, if you're still in conversation, it repeats your conversational options before the next prompt.  As Mike Russo talked about in his review, linked above, the conventions of ADRIFT may be very different than the conventions of Inform.  (Perhaps Inform likes to inform you of things while ADRIFT prefers to keep you adrift.)  And generally I hate when people who are not the target audience leave negative reviews and low ratings--ok, thanks, 30-year-old man ranting on the IMDb about Twilight, I don't care that you hated it, it wasn't for you--so if it's the case that I'm not the target audience for this, I do feel a little bad about the negative review.  But...

Leaving a negative review when you're not the target audience is like not liking spicy food, going to an Indian restaurant, and giving it a 1-star rating because it has all this spicy food.  But in this case it was part of ParserComp, which is more like going to a buffet and rating the dishes and then biting into something incredibly spicy: I had no idea this was going to be food I hate, I was asked to rate the food I ate, I ate this, I hated this, and so.

This is showing up as having a play-in-browser option, but there isn't one, correct? When I click to run it, it just gives a link to another page, which lists download options.

Developer (1 edit)

No. When you are directed to the ADRIFT website, click the green triangle to play online.


Developer (1 edit) (+1)

There are 10 commands you can use to TURN CONSOLE ON (the one you used), but that particular command had an extra space between CONSOLE and ON. I removed that space and the command now works properly. I would add that all you had to do was UNDO and try a different command rather than restarting the game. Bug now fixed.


The Euripides Enigma is a science-fiction action adventure where you play a badass space marine. Overall, I found the game severely flawed, but it certainly delivers on the badass space marine action.

The author clearly has much love for the military setting, and I’d like to see a shorter game in a more realistic army/navy plot.


The descriptions are very sparse and utilitarian. That’s a perfectly defensible choice: it successfully shows a no-nonsense, mission-focused character, it’s reminiscent of the old style of games many of us are nostalgic for, and it keeps up the pace in a rather long game. But ultimately I think it’s the wrong choice for this game. If I’m on an alien planet, I hope to see exotic scenery and not just the parts of it relevant to the mission.

In some places, the narration dictates what the player character does (“so you order Lieutenant Zen to investigate”, “so you decide to ignore it for now”) or feels (“to your amazement”). I’m not sure why this choice was made, but it definitely pulled me out of the story.


Definitely action-focused! You’re in space, there’s hidden dangers, strange happenings, futuristic weapons, heroic cliffhangers, nick-of-time action sequences.

I especially liked a rather somber moment around the middle of the game.


The full marine squad is introduced right from the beginning of the game, but the game doesn’t end up spending much time developing them, so they stay rather flat. The squad is also very top-heavy, with each character commanding exactly one other, which is quite odd. I think the squad could be reduced to a fire team of 2-3 privates plus the PC in command. On the other hand, it did prompt me to spend a night reading up on the USMC’s command structure, so that was a lot of fun.

The PC, presumably the subtitular(?) skipper Mike Erlin, has a very focused personality which successfully comes through very strongly. It’s not a personality I like, I resent how they won’t think about anything beside immediate necessity, but they certainly make sense as a person and are a good fit for the mission.


This is by far the largest flaw of the game. I ran into a game-breaking bug early, restarted, and eventually turned to the walkthrough — which contains multiple errors ranging from minor (dropping an object not picked up yet) to outright blocking.

The game also completely lacks implicit actions. Where another game might simply write “You close the door behind you.” or have an NPC do it, this game refuses to let you move without closing the door, and will scold you for writing “close door” rather than “press button”. Searching a container, taking an object, and using it always take three separate commands. I realise that implicit actions make timed puzzles much harder to implement, and that realistic nitty-gritty heightens the pressure of a hostile environment, but come on, that’s just annoying.

I did however appreciate how lovingly the military equipment is implemented, including details of individual parts of objects.


The early puzzles are mostly unfair. One requires examining the walls of a room even though the other rooms have no description for walls, suggesting that the IF convention of ignoring walls applies. Another requires a specific noun rather than another that would logically make as much sense.

The later puzzles are much better. In particular I really liked the sequence where the PC finds different ways of exploring a cliffside.


Thanks for your comments, I have corrected the 3 errors in the walkthrough and uploaded new versions. Can you please tell me what the game-breaking bug is as neither I nor any of my playtesters can detect it.

Hi Lazzah, I emailed you a transcript: if you solve the north console (PCC) before the south console (ESCC), you can’t progress any further. I’m on Mac, so it could be a Frankendrift-specific bug.


Hi Hawkbyte, I just tested the game using FrankenDrift on my Windows laptop. Solving the PCC before the ESCC made no difference, I was able to proceed. It would help if you had attached the transcript to your email so I can see what commands you typed in.

OK, I yield.  You have done much better than I have, because you found the walkthrough, which I cannot seem to do.  Where is it?

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If you type HELP you will be told about the hint system and that you can type wlkthrgh to get the walkthrough. A shame that  you got to play an early bugged version. But it might not be your choice of game anyway it seems. I was a tester and I like these kind of games but I am aware that it is a niche within IF.