One of my most favorite games in the 2002 IF competition, Janitor is a fun game that offers both interesting puzzles and a unique premise. In this 'meta-game' that looks at the entire text adventure genre from an outsider's view, you play a janitor who works for an adventure game company. No, not a company that writes and sells electronic titles, but one that makes actual, physical game locations, powered by various mechanical engines that sound like something out of Disneyworld. As the game begins, you are taking a break in the company's break room. Needless to say, it won't take long before you discover that all is not well in this 'real' game world.
Many puzzles in Janitor are reminiscent of the virtual reality puzzles in Legend's Gateway which require you to find and exploit a logic flaw to get out of the virtual reality. Except in this case your task is to fix what is wrong with the game. Your mop, for example, is equipped with a "mimesis disruptor," which can be turned on to disrupt the mimesis. Puzzles are the highlight of Janitor: there are many long and challenging puzzles, many of which are quite inventive. In addition to cool gadget-oriented puzzles, the authors also pay homage to Infocom games in many room descriptions and more than a few puzzles. I found the game confusing at first due to its open-ended nature, but after a while The game's high ranking in the competition is a bit unfair, because it is a long game that definitely takes more than 2 hours to finish. Although too long for a competition entry, there is no denying that Janitor is a well-written, funny, and clever puzzle fest that will entertain every interactive fiction fan. Two thumbs up, way up!Reviewed by: Underdogs