DescriptionA paragon of minimalist gaming, this debut piece of interactive fiction compounds the increasingly-popular "one-room game" sub-genre with a further elegant restriction -- the room ("the middle of a pretty town square in the center of a nondescript New England town") contains only a single object, the titular phone booth (shiny, metal, and, defying conventional use, welded shut). The title, a simple assertion of cause and effect, taunts and challenges the player, offering only a direct avenue to an unsuccessful game end; the onus is on the player to determine something, anything, more satisfying to do with the booth in question. "...there's not much to see or do here, but maybe you'll find something amusing and enjoyable to do."
The game is so slight, consisting of this solitary, single-step puzzle, as to practically be a riddle or logic problem; if there were more of them they might be one-liners zinged off by a zen comedian. As it is, the "game" (such as it is) is barely bite-sized -- but still worth a nibble.
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- "PUTPBAD" -- acronym
- "Pick up the Phone Booth and Die: A NyQuil Nightmare" -- Tag-lined title
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TriviaPUTPBAD's new take on an old medium has inspired not only a sequel by the author (1996's imaginatively-titled Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die 2, a five-location demo), but a number of homages and imitators including:
- Myn Duespo's Pick Up the Ice Cream Truck and Die (1998);
- Marc Valhara's Pick up the Pumpkin and KILL (2000);
- Jake Wildstrom's Pick Up the IF-Archive and Pi (2001);
- the collaborative effort Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle (2001);
- Danny Moik's Pick up the phone booth and Cry (2002);
- and Eric Schmidt's Pick Up The Phone Booth And Dye (2002).
Related Web Sites
- PUTPBAD @ Baf's Guide to the Interactive Fiction archive (Free, legal download of the game's Z-code executable, playable through a Z-code interpreter on pretty much any system under the sun.)
- You're Playing Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die Online! (Free, legal play of this text game through your JAVA applet-supporting web browser.)