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Augmented Fourth, by Brian Uri!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
The Jig Is Up, As In Thumbs Up!, February 23, 2013
by mrudis65
Related reviews: music, magic, charm, wit, satire, humor
You know it's going to be good when the game rewards you with the following: "Your score has gone up by one point for Stomaching the Requisite Cliched Fantasy Reference." This was my first IF by author Brian Uri, and if you enjoy Emily Short for her masterful storytelling or Andrew Plotkin for his fantasy creations, or "Violet" by Jeremy Freese for the sheer single-mindedness of the main character...then you are in for a treat with this one. If you don't know who those folks are, read on.

The author hides the solutions to the puzzles in "plain sight" but not so immediate that you don't have to get into the spirit of the story in order to find them. For this reason, not one of the puzzles was so hard that it became frustrating. However, not once did I feel like my intelligence was being insulted. In fact, quite the opposite was true. The nature of the puzzles employs word play, so while there perhaps is some guessing involved, I found the use of logic, semantics and a good dictionary to be most helpful. There is magic, and the game requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, because of the tongue-in-cheek nature of the entire drama. Humor and satire are behind every encounter.

What about references that only veteran IF players, or keepers of odd trivia would understand? These enhance the experience and can lead to certain "Easter Eggs" but even if new to IF, the player will find the story intriguing enough on its own. As for the theme of instrumental music, while there are frequent references to music, no knowledge of the subject is necessary to complete the game. I will admit that having played an instrument enhances the experience.

Who will want to move this to the top of their list of IF to try? Fans of Monty Python, Looney Tunes, The Kids in the Hall, or Saturday Night Live who also have a subscription to Games Magazine drop everything now and play it! I enjoyed the fact that score was kept throughout the game, and at the end you were informed what the total possible score was.

Unique to this IF was that I actually WANTED to go back and start over at the end in order to try some of the "extras" I missed.

The ONLY downside, if there is one, is that certain puzzles are "blocked" so that you cannot complete them until you accomplish other things in the game - things that are completely unrelated. So if you *think* you have the solution, and it doesn't work… my advice is to go do something else and come back to it. Still, I never really felt stuck to the point where I thought I had "tried everything".

Summary: This was the best IF game I have played to date.

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