IFDB page: You Were Doomed From the Start
Final placement: 51st place (of 51) in the 2001 Interactive Fiction Competition
I hate to say it, but once I saw the author’s name, I knew the title couldn’t be more appropriate. Doomed is like a very stripped down, simplified version of The Last Just Cause, and is put forth by the author as “more of a ‘Example work’ to teach programmers how to program a Text-based game more that [sic] a full game.” This is too easy a target, so I’ll just say this: people interested in writing a text game should evaluate a few different games, perhaps sampling among the systems used in this competition, and decide which ones they’d most like their game to resemble.
In some ways, the fact that this game is even more primitive (amazing as that is) than TLJC, is actually a good thing. For one thing, the supremely irritating combat engine is absent, as are the zillions of rooms and nonsensical puzzles. On the other hand, they haven’t really been replaced with anything much. There are a few rooms to go through, a key in each one. Unlock the last room with all the keys, get the key from that room, and that’s it. The ending of this game is just as mocking and irritating as anything from TLJC, but at least it’s over quickly.
This game also shares with TLJC the hallmarks of nonsensical world design and in-jokey object descriptions. The fact that there are fewer of them counts for a little, but only a little.