For the start of ParserComp 2022, I played Midnight at Al’s Self Storage, Truck Rentals, and Discount Psychic Readings by Thomas Insel. I had pretty high hopes for it, and even though it’s a short game, I feel it missed an opportunity.
You play as an employee at an all-night self-storage. Your boss, Joe, hands you a list as he heads off to god knows where. You have to move a few boxes around and settle things with a wary spirit. It’s a short game, something that could have been put together fairly quickly for the competition. And probably for that reason, there are no strange characters that show up in a place like this.
Putting in characters is hard, and it takes a lot of work. I’ve even shied away from NPCs in some of my games. But with a title like this, Midnight at Al’s Self Storage, Truck Rentals, and Discount Psychic Readings, I feel someone should have shown up to throw a wrench in it all. Or three. It reminds me of some old-school zaniness from back in the 80s, like Repo Man. I could see Harry Dean Stanton playing Joe, messing with the PC as they haul stuff around.
I enjoyed the game. It’s short and easy, with one puzzle to work around that makes a lot of sense. It feels like its own little place, with a terrible storm raging outside. I just wished that author went a little further and brought some characters into the mix.