• Eric the Unready


  • Graphical Text Adventure


  • Legend Entertainment


  • Legend Entertainment

Release Date:

  • 1993


  • DOS

Box Art Credit:

  • Wikipedia

Systems Used:

  • Boxer on a Mac

Carbon-izer Rating:

  • ★★ (at best)

On Wikipedia:

I'm going to add a paragraph that wasn't written at the same time as the rest of the review (written 2/1/16 instead of the rest of the review, written in 2014). Eric the Unready is, like The Shivah, TeenAgent, and Beneath a Steel Sky, one of the things I decided to play after reading a book published by HardcoreGaming101.net, but unlike others, this one was, well, a disappointment to put it mildly. I remember playing it in college, probably around 2013 or late 2012. Evidence seems to support late 2012 or maybe early 2013. Now then, on with the rest of the review as written a few years ago...

One of the candidates from the line-up of Legend Entertainment, founded by ex-Infocom companies, Eric the Unready is an example of why certain games don't work for me. Part of the joy of graphic adventure games (or even non-graphical ones) is the sense of exploration, which Eric the Unready sadly neglects. It discards a good storyline for rather silly writing--sure, there's all sorts of funny anachronisms (like the evil queen's plan to turn the entire kingdom into suburbia, or a wagon that has a bumper sticker that reads "How's my driving? Call 1-800-PISS-OFF"), but something's missing: it lacks a true point-and-click interface, which I am not too used to, but also lacks the sense of exploration: that's one of the reasons I had a bit of a soft spot for Zork. It may also be the fact that the writing is juvenile enough to appeal to the 16 and under set (like, they put unique responses if you try to have sex with any character), but it's also extremely hard--the uses for some items aren't telegraphed all that well, with puzzles that force you to remember something mentioned off-handedly in the beginning of the game.

Did I mention that like Zork it also doesn't have unlimited turns, and that you CAN die? It's not easy to find yourself in trouble (every action takes a minute, and if you "wait" too long the enemy will come and kill you, meaning that a helpful "undo" will not help you) but the deaths seemed more annoying than humorous for the most part. It's not like Sierra games where you can permanently screw yourself over (especially if it's nearing the end of the game) or kill you for touching the wrong thing, but it's more than there needs to be. In fact, it wasn't that, or any other specific thing that caused me to hate ETR. The graphics are bad but necessary to help you figure out what's going on, which is a poor excuse for the obtuse puzzles, not to mention screeching multiple beeps if you happen to press delete while trying to write something. Was that necessary?

Much later in the game, you help out "Smirk", "Zulu", "Bones", and the rest of the crew

The final blow to the game ends with the fact that informs you it was "Eric the Unready - Part One", implying they wanted to make more of it, but frankly, since the story was already wrapped up, and unless they wanted to get into more of the background of the wicked queen and her daughter, there's nothing else to explore, unless they wanted to do more of the wacky worlds that they throw you into.

Anyway, for a more positive review, you can check out HG101's review of this game. Given that a full quarter of their screenshots involve typing "f*** [character]" (or in one case, "eat shit"), you can see ETR really isn't that funny and more in tune to minds in the gutter. If you do end up playing this game (as I ended up doing), be sure to make a grid elsewhere for the "memory" game, as it will make that part a lot less frustrating (and cannot be solved going to GameFaqs).

But to be honest, no, I don't recommend you play it. It doesn't do anything ground-breaking, the writing is a bit clever but overrated, it's full of pop cultural references that made sense in the 1990s but weren't even all that funny (or good-natured) even at the time, and you're either too old for the humor or too young for it.

May 10 2014