The game includes a measure of simulated blood pressure which rises when "frustrating" events happen and lowers after a period of no annoying events. Once a certain blood pressure level is reached, the player suffers an aneurysm and the game ends.
According to Adams, the premise of the game was inspired by a real-life experience. Before moving from one address to another in London, Adams filled out several change-of-address forms, including one he submitted in person at his bank. Shortly after settling into his new apartment, he found that his credit card no longer worked. The bank had invalidated his current card and sent a new one to his old address. Adams spent weeks trying to get the bank to correct its mistake, filling out several new forms and talking to several bank officials. The bank finally sent a letter apologizing for the inconvenience: naturally, it was sent to his old address.
Among the extra items, which Infocom called feelies, in the Bureaucracy game package are:
* A pamphlet entitled You're ready to move! from the fictional bank Fillmore Fiduciary Trust
* A flier advertising the fictional magazine Popular Paranoia
* A welcome letter from the player's new employer, Happitec Corporation
* A Fillmore "Better Beezer" credit card application form (each sheet of the triplicate carbon copy form had different instructions and questions)
* A very skinny pencil (similar to those provided at banks)
In a nicely realistic touch, the game begins with a short online "software registration form" displayed on the screen. After the form has been completed, the game uses the given information after appropriately mangling it. (For example, the game will persistently address the player as the wrong gender, and whatever the player enters as "least favourite colour" will appear in numerous descriptions.)
players: single player
distribution: 5,25 floppy disk, 3,5 floppy disk
graphics: 80 columns text
Abandonware DOS popularity: low