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Bureaucracy is a text adventure game that describes the misadventures of a person who has recently moved to a new apartment and begins to fall victim to various bureaucratic procedures that always go wrong. He can't receive his mail, access his bank account, or generally lead a normal life; all his activities are impeded by needless and confusing hurdles. In order to retrieve the lost mail and put his life back on track, the protagonist will have to meet exotic characters and perform various tasks while being constantly threatened by various bureaucratic occurrences.

The gameplay involves typing commands composed out of verb and object combinations, used to interact with the game world and solve puzzles. In addition, a special "blood pressure" meter will gradually fill itself the more the protagonist is bothered by bureaucratic annoyances. Once this meter is completely full, the player character suffers an aneurysm, and the game ends.


Bureaucracy Commodore 128 Starting location
Bureaucracy Macintosh Your blood pressure goes up if you make a mistake.
Bureaucracy Commodore 128 Har har, Infocom parodies itself.
Bureaucracy Amiga Taking stuff.

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "Bureaucracy - A Paranoid Fantasy" -- Tag-lined title

User Reviews

Hilarious and difficult with a twisted logic of its own DOS Ingold (134)
Awesome, laugh-out-loud, text game DOS Terrence Bosky (5463)
An interesting and funny game concept is very frustrating in practice due to the difficulty of the puzzles and the lack of direction in the game DOS Droog (522)
Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art? DOS Mirrorshades2k (282)

Critic Reviews

Zzap! Commodore 128 Jul, 1987 90 out of 100 90
Your Commodore Commodore 128 Aug, 1987 27 out of 30 90
Amstrad Action DOS Jun, 1987 89 out of 100 89
Happy Computer DOS Jul, 1987 87 out of 100 87
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Atari ST Jul, 1987 34 out of 40 85
ATARImagazin Atari ST Jun, 1987 2 out of 6 80
Just Games Retro DOS May 10, 2008 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
SPAG DOS Apr 19, 1995 7.1 out of 10 71
Commodore User Commodore 128 Jul, 1987 7 out of 10 70
All Game Guide Macintosh 1998 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


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Infocom's famous 69,105 number is used in this game to refer to a ticket number and an internal error.


Unlike the other Infocom grey-box releases, which featured positive comments from publications and players on the inside box flap, Bureaucracy (in the spirit of the game's content) reprints some of the complaints Infocom received.


According to the Infocom Home Page, the game package contained "You're ready to move!" bank brochure, a letter from your new boss, a membership flyer for "Popular Paranoia", a red pencil, and a Beezer card application form (in triplicate).

Information also contributed by Sciere and Ye Olde Infocomme Shoppe

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Contributed to by Corn Popper (69094), Tony Van (2855), Terok Nor (29641), Servo (57388) and Belboz (6582)