Written for the 1997 Annual IF Competition, The Frenetic Five vs.Sturm Und Drang
is one of the best superhero games ever made, bar none. The game has it all: men in tights, wacky nemesis, and plenty of spandex humor. The game's highlight is the creative names and powers for its superhero team, The Frenetive Five. Designer neil deMause even conceived the perfect superhero for you (i.e. the player character): a MacGuyver-inspired Improv whose power is the manipulation of everyday objects into useful tools-- exactly what most adventure games require their players to do anyway. The other members of your gang are no less interesting. Lexicon has the entire dictionary at his disposal, Pastiche has many different powers you accrue throughout the game, and The Clapper has the ability to locate any object by clapping. These characters are so well rendered, full of interesting personal details and anecdotes, that you will grow fond of them by the time the game ends. Puzzles, as one can expect, require the use of the Frenetic Five's powers, and in some cases require the co-ordination of two or more members. Unfortunately due to lack of clues and some very far-fetched solutions, the puzzles are the weaker part of this game.
Anyone who enjoys Legend's Superhero League of Hoboken will definitely have a blast with this underrated IF classic. It's clever, it's funny, and it's got tons of superhero jokes and parodies to keep you chuckle from beginning to end. Too bad the sequel, Frenetic Five vs. Mr. Redundancy Man, somehow doesn't quite match the funny atmosphere of this debut of the quirky heroes. Two thumbs up, way up!