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Spring Thing 2016 version, at the IF Archive.
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Dr. Sourpuss Is Not A Choice-Based Game

by P.B. Parjeter profile

Episode 1 of The France Trilogy

About the Story

I, Dr. Sourpuss, talking housecat and test administrator, regret to inform you that your multiple choice test has been misplaced. While I attempt to locate the missing SCANDRON marking machine, please occupy yourself with the fully immersive "101Ī98 Experiments with Citrus" science fair activities.

Game Details

Off-Site Reviews

Playing it is kind of like listening in on a very strange and oddly earnest conversation that you canít entirely follow, with the constant understanding that there will be a test. Itís sort of like a nightmare in that respect. The visual design is very striking, making rather complicated conversations amongst three eccentric characters easy to follow by color-coding. The artwork is great too. I particularly like the image of Dr. Sourpuss himself, who looks like Garfield as drawn by Gary Larson. Oh, and the game itself? Hmm. It is about choices, and the reductive nature of answering questions via multiple choiceÖ maybe? Itís kind of odd, but I definitely recommend checking it out, though probably you need to be in the mood for some downright peculiarity.
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
Tonally, this is a political cartoon at large scale ó as implied by the cover art ó one in which every character is a stand-in for some comically objectionable stance. For me, a little of that kind of rhetoric goes a long way, but other peopleís mileage may vary.

I do, however, have to respect a lot of things about this piece. It demonstrates a strong sense of visual design; it deploys its mechanics in interesting ways throughout; the art is good; and I can hardly disagree with the idea that standardized testing is a terrible way to manage education or the development of people as people.
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This is one of those games where I am not sure what was going on, but Iím sure I enjoyed it. Dr Sourpuss is a talking, mortar-board wearing cat created by a genetic-engineering accident involving a lemon tree. He and a couple of other characters take the player on a winding story involving a sinister corporation that manufactures multiple-choice test marking machines, making good use of absurdity to smuggle a clever commentary on the effect of standardised, one-size-fits-all education on students. The puzzles are simple but clever: some objects, when they are mentioned in the story, appear in your inventory, and at any time you can go to a lab and choose two of them to combine into some new object that is the key to getting past each stage.
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Page Update History

  v.9: 21-Mar-2024 19:05 - JTN (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed license type, Web site URL, download links
v.8: 07-Jun-2021 22:07 - P. B. Parjeter
Changed series name
v.7: 07-Jun-2021 22:06 - P. B. Parjeter
Changed series name, episode number
v.6: 26-Apr-2021 06:27 - P. B. Parjeter
Changed Web site URL, download links
v.5: 01-Nov-2016 01:22 - P. B. Parjeter
Changed external review links
v.4: 13-Jun-2016 17:23 - Doug Orleans
Changed external review links
v.3: 13-Jun-2016 17:20 - Doug Orleans
Changed external review links
v.2: 04-May-2016 17:47 - P. B. Parjeter
Changed author, download links
v.1: 06-Apr-2016 15:12 - CMG
Created page