Random Thought: "I wonder if you could make an all ASCII-based room and player description, would it still count as a text-based adventure game?"
While this was technically a text-based adventure game, it felt and played much more like a CYOA, which made the game feel more streamlined and definitely kept the pace up. While the actual adventure was very short, each of the characters had a great amount of detail lavished onto them, and while I didn't poke at them too much, I felt like they were all very solid, each with their own motivations, each with their own level of involvement and investment. And I was incredibly impressed with that: good characterization is one of the more interesting, yet difficult aspects of creating an adventure game.
The adventure itself seemed of epic enough proportions: kind of a dumb kid thing to do, while actually also kind of interesting. I have to say, when I was a teen I never went out drinking with friends or looking to cause trouble or push the boundaries: so this kind of story about sneaking into abandoned houses struck me as about as foreign as a game about sports. Why would kids go out and drink 'till they puked? What did they feel they were accomplishing? Were girlie magazines really all that mysterious and amazing? It is really considered part of growing up to destory and loot property? To sneak out at night? Perhaps this was an accurate representation of someone's teenage years, but it was never representative of my youth, and I find all those desires somewhat strange. I felt more for Maximus who obviously got peer pressured into doing something he was uncomfortable with.
But, I did my best to put myself into the mindset of the protagonist, and the game was incredibly enjoyable and cute. The puzzles each felt like they led into each other naturally, and gameplay really seemed to unravel naturally. And the characterization was amazing. It was an fun and fast-paced experience, and definitely a great story idea.