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Fails at its stated goal

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+=3, by Carl de Marcken and David Baggett

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fails at its stated goal due to poor execution, March 24, 2021

The puzzle is not, in fact, logical.

(Spoiler - click to show)The description if you type "examine me" is "You're the adventurer in Zork who was too polite to open someone else's mailbox."

This is a logical pointer to outside knowledge. But the adventurer in Zork is quite carefully *very* undescribed. For all we know, the adventurer in Zork is wearing a hat, a dress, and boots. This makes it impossible to come up with the official solution of removing your shirt. "Remove sari" doesn't work. "Remove hat" doesn't work. "Remove dress" doesn't work.

(And "x clothes" says "There's nothing unusual about your clothes", so dress and boots it should be.)

In fact, the solution is not only completely illogical, but was clearly written by men who've never worn a dress. It's asking for author mind-reading and/or cultural assumptions, which isn't logical. At all.

The pity is that I could probably make a game which actually made the intended point better. Even implementing "remove clothes" might have arguably made it logical.

In fact, I think Colossal Cave's final "puzzle", where you have to figure out that the vaguely-described rod is dynamite and come up with the verb "blast" which has never been used or mentioned in the entire game, makes the same point, and better, if unintentionally. Within the Colossal Cave world model, the rod being dynamite is perhaps more logical than anything else; it is hinted at, and there is every indication you should figure out what the rod is good for, but you haven't used it in the rest of the game. And if you have somehow typed "blast" because you were swearing mildly, you have a hint. But otherwise, it's "read the source and find the list of verbs". Logical but unsolveable without luck, hints, or reading the source.

Unlike this game. Moral: even if you're devising something perverse to make a point, technical competence and thoroughness of execution matters.

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