You wake up in bed. A reassuring start and one familiar from several games. You are spared the precision maneuvering that was required in Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy; instead, if you pick up the phone you receive a message urging you to work. It is 9:05 and you have slept longer than you intended...
The game plays smoothly with no real apparent problems - something might strike you as strange when you are given a set of keys, but don't seem to be able to lock the front door on the way out, but hey, this is interactive fiction anyhow, and if we are prepared to accept endless magical transportations and interdimensional shifts in other games, then we should be able to deal with that. Also, the author's hand is clearly seen to be pushing you in a certain direction late in the game, where the line "Walk into Bowman's office without the form? Not smart." appears, even though we can easily reach that stage without having encountered the form yet. A petty point which doubtless could be dealt with in the next version - and also one that shows the high standards that IF has reached in recent years: if that's all we've go to moan about, then we aren't being badly served by the current crop of writers.
Back to the game: play it once, definitely play it once, just to hear yourself say "WHAT?" when you reach the end screen. Then play it again, and investigate those nooks and crannies that you passed over the first time... things shall become apparent. Play it that second time and reach the best resolution. On the basis of Cadre's earlier piece I-0 (aka Interstate Zero) I suspect that there may still be many hidden treasures lurking in the background though - I played that one through about eight or ten times and still missed out on at least half the fun. I don't know though - there do seem to be only two ways out of this set-up.
In the end, 9:05 is a simple game which could almost be described as puzzle-less one - it does contain one puzzle which does not advertise itself as such until it is way too late. It's a game that is somewhat closer in spirit to Cadre's take on Flowers For Algernon than his other more involved Photopia or I-0.
The phone rings at 9:05 AM after a rough night. It's up to you to get up and get moving in this short piece of interactive fiction.
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