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About the Story
Ordinary dogs? We're not ordinary dogs! We're Custard and Mustard - and we're looking for adventure!
Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2022
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
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This is one of the best Adventuron games I've played, from the author of last year's The Faeries of Haelstowne, which I also enjoyed. The first thing that struck me was the writing, which has the charming, well-mannered humour of British children's classics such as the Paddington Bear and Professor Branestawm books. It feels like it belongs to an earlier, simpler era, without the snark and endless pop culture references that characterise a lot of modern comedy. I'm not sure if the game was written with children in mind, but it's one I wouldn't hesitate to play with my young nephews, and I'm sure they'd enjoy it. That said, I don't think they'd solve it alone.
The game has a large map, and the central conceit is that you're playing two characters you can switch between. The two dogs have slightly different abilities and some tasks can only be completed by both dogs acting together. I was reminded a little of the old ZX Spectrum arcade adventure Head Over Heels. The pair get themselves into lots of amusing situations, but much of the comedy comes from the dog's-eye view of humans going about their daily lives. It is wry and very well-observed.
There are a lot of puzzles, some of which are very clever, such as (Spoiler - click to show)untangling Custard from the lamp post. Others are rather less than intuitive, and I often found myself turning to the excellent hint system. It's not always obvious what you're supposed to be doing, and I sometimes had to use the hints to give me a push in the right direction. Often the thing I was supposed to be doing was something I'd never have thought of, since it had no obvious connection to the main objective. In more than one way, the game reminded me of Untitled Goose Game, which has a checklist of things the goose (or geese) can try, and I came to rely on the hint system in much the same way, using it to steer me through the game. I don't think I'd have solved it otherwise. Once I'd accepted the necessity of using the hints, it didn't spoil my enjoyment a bit.
Implementation is very smooth and I encountered very few problems with my playthrough. It felt as though the author had provided plenty of synonyms and that the game had been thoroughly beta-tested. The Adventuron style of clearing the screen every time you move to a new room was a bit of a nuisance, because I couldn't scroll back and refer to past events, but it never became a major issue. If I had one, minor gripe with the game as a whole, it would be that (Spoiler - click to show)the river is too wide, crossing it became a bit tedious especially since I had to make several trips.
Despite these criticisms, Custard & Mustard's Big Adventure is beautifully written, very funny and a lot of fun to play. The highest compliment I can pay this game is that I didn't want to stop playing. I kept coming back to it even when I had much more urgent things to do. Highly recommended.
CUSTARD AND MUSTARD
This is a bright game I tried to test but I haven’t enough english skill and I couldn’t do any properly transcript in Adventuron.
I started to play this simulationist game where you will be a gog and have to play some dog’s adventure. As far as I could see this is a very polished game by Christopher. I have this game red marked in my TODO list, so I will expand this review soon.
This game reminds me of what you'd get if you mixed the 'buddies' movies (like Space Buddies) with Secret Life of Pets and Sherlock Holmes but both characters are Watson.
You are a dog on a leash. You like you're owner, but don't want to be on a leash. You escape, and eventually find another dog.
Then the game opens up into a huge map, with I swear 30+ locations. Many farcical situations arise, including things like kick-flips, ollies, pretending to be a dog mannequin, wearing a dog bow-tie, and an enormous chunk at the end where you (Spoiler - click to show)stop a burglary of a museum.
It's a very long Adventuron game, one of the most complex I've seen. It's charming and funny.
My biggest sticking point was just not knowing what to do. Different IF communities have different conventions on what's considered 'fair play'. Most games I spend a lot of time around with (like old IFComp games) tend to only use standard verbs or verbs directly mentioned in the text. In this game, I had to fiddle around for a while, especially with an embarrassingly long 20 minute session I had trying to solve the first puzzle. I didn't want to resort to hints, but after that, I used them copiously.
I especially used hints later on because the game often sets up and plays out hilariously funny scenes but with little motivation. As a hypothetical example (not in the game), it'd be like hearing an alien is attacking the city, and then you see a line of dominos leading into an alleyway. Pushing the dominoes would tumble them down, and then you'd discover there's a giant cannon in the alleyway which the dominos trigger, shooting and defeating the alien. This is an absurd example not in the game, but illustrates the kind of logic: it makes sense in hindsight, but otherwise it's kind of hard to guess that you need to do it.
This is a common issue with humor games, where you have to balance player participation with setting up good punchlines. For my part, I enjoyed the humor and am willing to sacrifice a little agency for it.
I did experience one difficult bug, near the end. When I had succeeded in the biggest task of the game, (Spoiler - click to show)foiling the robbery, I dragged the robber out of the water and tried to lead the police to the museum. I got lost though and accidentally re-triggered the water scene in an infinite loop. I got out of the infinite loop by reloading my browser window, which took me back to my previous turn, and going a different direction.
Overall, a fun romp, one of the most enjoyable long Adventuron games, and highly recommended.
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Average member rating: (95 ratings)
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