John Walker's Electronic House

by on Feb.11, 2005, under The Rest


My disturbing obsession with the Adrenaline Vault‘s most verbose hack, Bob Mandel, has been noted previously. His astonishing need to mention how he is no novice in every review he writes is peculiar and hilarious, and about a million examples of this are compiled here.

Which makes it all the more strange that he has recently written a feature on the (almost dead) Avault stating how good gamers are not necessarily good game reviewers.

From his new feature:

“Indeed, the dimension that bothers me the most about game reviews I read on the web or in print is the tendency of many reviewers to find a way to brag about their own prowess as they report on the title.”

And here are some quotes (amongst dozens and dozens) from Bob’s reviews, showing us how it should be done:


Beyond Atlantis is not an easy game, and I can easily see how some would get so frustrated they would just call it quits early on. In truth, this title is probably too difficult for those new to the adventure-puzzle genre. But for diehard adventure gamers, including myself, this offering provides a veritable cornucopia of some of the best and trickiest challenges I have encountered in a very long time. You need to have both great patience and a willingness to figure everything out without many signposts, but if this is the case you will be pleased as punch by what you encounter here.”


Although Dark Fall is nowhere near the most difficult virtual adventure I have played, it is clearly not designed for the casual gamer or the novice adventurer. It requires a level of patience, meticulous attention to detail, and perseverance well beyond what most are used to in computer recreations.”


The Egyptian Prophecy is one of the least challenging adventure titles I’ve played. What this means is that it’s perfect for novices, but also a bit below the capabilities of seasoned adventurers.”


Regardless, the unfortunate truth is that some novices to computer adventuring or those not used to puzzling would probably never make it all the way through, even with a complete walkthrough in front of them. However, for those of us who enjoy solving environmental puzzles, Schizm is a dream come true.”

I could go on.

4 Comments for this entry

  • Lewis

    Oh goodness, he wrote ‘cornucopia.’ I can’t believe he actually, in all seriousness, wrote ‘cornucopia.’

  • Spongebob Squarepants

    I can’t belive he had the gall to put ‘veritable’ in front of it.

  • Lloytron

    As an ex hack myself from about 10 years ago one of the catch all “we are crap but don’t care because its late, we are on deadline and want to go home” phrases we used to use was “a veritable cornucopia”. Even then that was pathetic writing, but it’s nice to see the legacy lives on!

  • Tom

    The man loves a good rubbish adventure game, I’ll give him that.