by Aaron A. Reed
Missing employees, wily crustaceans, malfunctioning kitchen equipment and a terminal food shortage, all on the night the most important culinary critic in the world has chosen to review your debut restaurant? Surely there's nowhere to go but up.
Play Gourmet online!
The competition release of Gourmet had an unfortunate number of bugs. Now that judging is over, I encourage anyone interested in playing the game to download the post-comp version of Gourmet. Many problems with implementation and other bugs have been corrected in this version. The original competition release is also available but is significantly more frustrating.
Get an z-code interpreter for Windows or nearly any other system to play the game on your own computer. You'll also need the Gourmet story file.
Gourmet placed 5th in IFComp 2003, the 9th annual Interactive Fiction Competition, and also won "Best Puzzles" in the 2003 XYZZY Awards (and was nominated for "Best Setting" and "Best Individual Character" as well). I'm happy that so many people seemed to like the game, despite the many bugs in the competition release.
Gourmet is now illustrated! Talented and generous artist J. Robinson Wheeler produced sketch illustrations for every game entered in the 2003 competition, including Gourmet. You can see the delightful Gourmet illustration on his website.
Gourmet even has a theme song. Download White Hat by Bloodberries and Cream, my prize in the IF Comp and a treat for those who've played the game.
Gourmet (along with several other IF games) is included free with the BrailleNote mPower BT. I am delighted that my game has been able to reach thousands of visually impaired players whose options for enjoying traditional computer games are limited.
Reviews and Reactions
"The puzzles are all logical, well-designed, and evoke some very memorable scenes - at one point in the game you will be wielding a mop against a menacing lobster that dangles from a ceiling fan." -- Home of the Underdogs
"This is a very good comedy IF game that sometimes rises to the fever pitch of successful slapstick comedy, and otherwise sustains a tone of gentle amusement. Quite a tricky thing to do right, but this game manages to." --J. Robinson Wheeler
"God bless you, Aaron Reed. ... From the first wine-drenching to the last mano-a-crustacean battle, Gourmet is a joy to play." --Mike Russo