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CounterfeitMonkey-10.gblorb
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
Counterfeit Monkey.gblorb
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
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Counterfeit Monkey

by Emily Short profile

Espionage
2012

About the Story

Anglophone Atlantis has been an independent nation since an April day in 1822, when a well-aimed shot from their depluralizing cannon reduced the British colonizing fleet to one ship.

Since then, Atlantis has been the world's greatest center for linguistic manipulation, designing letter inserters, word synthesizers, the diminutive affixer, and a host of other tools for converting one thing to another. Inventors worldwide pay heavily for that technology, which is where a smuggler and industrial espionage agent such as yourself can really clean up.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Orthography has taken a serious interest in your activities lately. Your face has been recorded and your cover is blown.

Your remaining assets: about eight more hours of a national holiday that's spreading the police thin; the most inconvenient damn disguise you've ever worn in your life; and one full-alphabet letter remover.

Good luck getting off the island.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: December 30, 2012
Current Version: 10
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Tough
IFID: 7B5A779B-4653-43DB-A516-F475DDC12987
TUID: aearuuxv83plclpl

Off-Site Reviews

Rock Paper Shotgun
With over eight hours of delicious wordplay, Counterfeit Monkey is a powerful start to interactive fiction in 2013.
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Invisible Walls show
Screenshots, discussion of gameplay, and spoilers for the first puzzle, about 8 minutes in.
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Scatmania
What’s most-special about this remarkable game is the primary puzzle mechanic, and how expertly (not to mention seamlessly and completely) it’s been incorporated into the play experience. Over the course of the game, you’ll find yourself equipped with a number of remarkable tools that change the nature of game objects by adding, removing, changing, re-arranging or restoring their letters, or combining their names with the names of other objects: sort of a “Scrabble® set for real life”... I can’t say too much more without spoiling one of the best pieces of interactive fiction I’ve ever played.
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Neogaf forum thread
Adventure games were always filled with great little moments off the beaten track that would reward you with their content. Achievements may be dumb, but the acknowledgment works with the faint metroid feel I get from the abilities and areas I uncover.

Ok, that's enough, but the plot is also fun and highly allegoric (I love that stuff) there's only a few real speedbumps, and with the nouns being the thing, the guess the verb stigma of interactive fiction is slight.

A great game, and a great text adventure.
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Totally Dublin
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but mightier still, according to Counterfeit Monkey, is the Tipp-Ex brush. This is a text adventure that exploits the medium to a degree rarely seen.
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Platform Nation
JP LeBreton of Double Fine described it quite astutely as “Portal for English” and he’s right; it feels almost exactly like that. Obviously, you aren’t crafting literal portals, but the changes you can actuate and the rate and capacity for which you do it definitely feels like you are zipping around the world through portals.
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Dork Night
The gameplay is fun. There are multiple solutions to nearly all of the puzzles, and I found myself looking for all of the different words I could make with the tools available to me, even when I already knew what to do. The actual puzzles were occasionally cloudy, but on the whole, they made sense in the universe that the game had constructed. Moreover, it's immersive. At one point, you sidle up to the bar and order a strong drink, and I couldn't help but feel like it was the most appropriate spy moment I've ever experienced in a game, and even that was influenced by the linguistic overtones of the game.
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GameTrailers.com

Counterfeit Monkey is consistently surprising and adroit, engaged with its own core without drowning in witty self-referential winks; putting the basis of language at the forefront, the verb and the noun, without piling on verbose diatribes of exposition. Successful, smart, and fun, its puzzles and pace bridge the gap between curling up with a good book and letting you save the world. Or at least your own skin.
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IFWizz
Die Charaktere sind lebendig beschrieben und ihr Schicksal lässt mich nicht kalt. Am Ende leide ich mit jedem von ihnen. Geschickt wechselt die Erzählperspektive zwischen zwei Protagonisten und ermöglicht Seitenhiebe und bissige Kommentare des Spielgeschehens und der Aktionen des Spielers.
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mathNEWS
Multiple solutions almost always exist, so it’s possible to get creative if you’re stuck, and in fact I ended up developing an intuition for solving the puzzles (none of that “rope + banana = fishing rod” nonsense, thank you).
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best Puzzles Nominees
I’m here to discuss the puzzles, not the story. The puzzles, though, are those of a storyteller. Just as there’s an arc to the plot, there’s a discernable arc to the puzzle content... Now, the whole progression here is one of increasing power, but this doesn’t make things easier. On the contrary: pretty much everything you’re able to make in the intro area is useful, but the set of things you can make grows far faster than the set of things you can solve puzzles with, drowning intent in possibility.
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best Use of Innovation Nominees
At the highest level, convenience features abound, including a GO TO command, tutorial mode, and a way to track active goals. But on a deeper level, the world of Anglophone Atlantis and the structural conceits of the game are tailor-made to showcase the joys of text and elide its limitations... At its core, Monkey structurally zeroes in on the strong point of parser-based fiction (making you feel clever) while minimizing the frustrations (making you feel stupid).
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best Implementation Nominees (Sean M. Shore)
Assessing Counterfeit Monkey‘s implementation is a bit like being a judge in Olympic ice skating: you really have to factor in degree of difficulty. It’s one thing if the skater performs a safe routine that dutifully checks off all the compulsory elements. It’s another if he or she almost flawlessly executes a quadruple lutz and triple toe loop.
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best Implementation Nominees (Jason McIntosh)
I predict a long life for Counterfeit Monkey, especially if the author returns to address some of these snags for the sake of increased accessibility. The game is destined to sit beside Anchorhead on most any parser-IF aficionado’s shortlist of canonical long-form works. Just as Gentry’s game epitomized adventure game themes and techniques up through the latter 1990s, Monkey succeeds in synthesizing adventure-game developments from diverse sources with the unique powers of text into an ever-surprising and truly unforgettable work.
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best Setting Nominees (Jacqueline A. Lott)
It seems obvious, that in a world where you can add or remove letters from the names of objects, smack them with a homonym paddle, or zap a phrase into an anagram of itself, that there’d be substantial consequences: it would deeply affect people’s lives, the economy, politics, everyone’s world view… all manner of things. But the reality is that most games (heck, even many static fictions) that are fortunate enough to latch onto something truly original are so excited to share the novelty with you that they fall short or completely fail to round out the rest of the world. Not only does Counterfeit Monkey fail to fall into this trap, it avoids it so adeptly that you may not even notice.
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best Setting Nominees (Duncan Bowsman)
The creation and formation of language is not only political in Anglophone Atlantis, but paramount. It forms the topography of a cityscape, such that Anglophone and Francophone worlds are full of different possibilities. Depluralizing cannons make fast work of enemy ships in an invasion. Wordplay is resistance.
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best PC Nominees (Stephen Granade)
All of that makes Alexandra, the player character of Counterfeit Monkey, one of the best PCs I’ve seen in years. Alexandra combines the technical fireworks of a subverted protagonist/narrator dichotomy with two exquisitely-developed characters whose emotional arc drives the story.
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XYZZY Awards blog
Reviews of Best PC Nominees (Jenni Polodna)
I’d like to imagine some kind of not terrible future for Alexandra, one where she doesn’t descend into gibbering Lovecraftian madness, but it’s so hard to even wrap my head around who Alexandra is, what a cohesive blend of these two people would even be like, that I suspect she is maybe just hosed. Sorry, Alexandra. Good luck, though! You never know! Have fun doing crimes and stuff!
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Old Games Italia
Le possibilità sono potenzialmente infinite ed è incredibile come Emily Short sia riuscita a prevedere tutte le differenti opzioni che la rimozione di questa o quella lettera sono in grado di generare a partire da un singolo oggetto. E siccome gli oggetti in gioco non sono certo pochi, l'impresa assume toni sovrumani. Un grande applauso a Emily e ai suoi beta tester.
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Page Update History

  v.40: 13-Mar-2021 22:11 - Dan Fabulich (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed version number, download links
v.39: 11-Aug-2020 14:03 - Dan Fabulich
Changed download links
v.38: 11-Aug-2020 14:02 - Dan Fabulich
Changed download links
v.37: 11-Aug-2020 05:53 - Petter Sjölund
Changed version number
v.36: 09-Feb-2020 03:54 - Dan Fabulich
Changed download links
v.35: 15-Apr-2019 17:06 - furkle
Changed Web site URL
v.34: 15-Apr-2019 16:53 - furkle
Changed Web site URL
v.33: 04-Dec-2018 19:39 - Petter Sjölund
Changed version number
v.32: 04-Dec-2018 19:38 - Petter Sjölund
Changed download links
v.31: 29-Dec-2017 02:28 - Doug Orleans
Changed version number
v.30: 30-May-2016 01:30 - Dannii
Changed version number, download links
v.29: 16-Mar-2014 16:59 - Emily Short
Changed version number
v.28: 16-Mar-2014 16:10 - Emily Short
Changed download links
v.27: 11-Sep-2013 18:47 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.26: 23-Jun-2013 19:28 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.25: 20-Jun-2013 21:11 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.24: 17-Jun-2013 15:28 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.23: 15-Jun-2013 21:10 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.22: 12-Jun-2013 04:58 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.21: 08-Jun-2013 15:35 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.20: 06-Jun-2013 18:58 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.19: 06-Jun-2013 18:57 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.18: 04-Jun-2013 15:58 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.17: 04-Jun-2013 00:11 - Sam Kabo Ashwell
Changed download links
v.16: 15-May-2013 11:54 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.15: 03-Apr-2013 00:15 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.14: 13-Mar-2013 12:11 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.13: 17-Feb-2013 07:05 - Edward Lacey
Changed external review links
v.12: 30-Jan-2013 18:35 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.11: 24-Jan-2013 08:13 - Emily Short
Changed download links
v.10: 22-Jan-2013 20:06 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.9: 22-Jan-2013 12:29 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.8: 12-Jan-2013 14:01 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.7: 09-Jan-2013 04:41 - Emily Short
Changed version number
v.6: 06-Jan-2013 12:45 - Emily Short
Changed external review links
v.5: 31-Dec-2012 13:39 - Emily Short
Changed description
v.4: 31-Dec-2012 04:16 - Emily Short
Changed description
v.3: 31-Dec-2012 04:10 - Emily Short
Changed Web site URL
v.2: 31-Dec-2012 03:52 - Emily Short
Changed description
v.1: 31-Dec-2012 03:35 - Emily Short
Created page