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Whitefield Academy of Witchcraft

by Steph Cherrywell profile


Web Site

(based on 19 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

The year is 1957, and the place is lush, storm-tossed Stinglash Island, just off the north coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. You are Page LeBlanc, witch in training, and you've returned for another year at dear old Whitefield...and it's definitely not your fault you're a day late.

You arrive to find an empty dock. A locked building. And evidence that the day you missed wasn't just another typical first day at school.

Make use of five different magic spells, meet a cast of quirky classmates, and fully explore the Academy grounds...damaging property, unbalancing ecosystems, and eating way too much gingerbread along the way.

(This is the beta version of the game; it should be fully playable and possible to complete, but much of the flavor and scenery is yet to be fleshed out, and a lot of things that seem like they should do something don't.)

Tips for playing:
To cast a spell on something, use the name of the spell as a verb.
Look at everything, including yourself. Sometimes item descriptions include hints on how to proceed.
You can't die and it should not be possible to put the game in an unwinnable state, so try everything!

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Number of Reviews: 2
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Sorcerer+Potter+Nancy Drew, May 11, 2014
by Hanon Ondricek (United States)

NOTE: I have not completed the game yet due to hardware limitations (Mac, online only) but I wanted to call attention to it.

This is one of the best examples of a non choice-based Quest game I've seen in a while. Even though the story obviously pulls inspiration from several sources (Infocom spell-fests, J.K.Rowling) the writing is clever and at the level where it feels like one of Infocom's old-school fictions, perhaps aimed at the WISHBRINGER crowd. The female protagonist returns to her not-Hogwarts magic school a day late to find everyone missing, frozen, or worse. The game touts five re-usable spells and from the section I played seemed tightly coded...

Except I *ached* for this story to be in Glulx or Tads with a more robust parser. I'm on a Mac, and therefore cannot play Quest games offline, so each turn takes from half a second to about five seconds to register, and while that doesn't sound like much, it's like walking through sticky mud. Also, many of the standard modern conveniences such as word synonyms (READ BOOK? Nope. READ SPELLBOOK) and some pronoun handling (TAKE BOOK. EXAMINE IT sometimes failed to catch what I was talking about) are noticeably absent from the interface. Fortunately Quest provides an inventory list and a list of exact items in scope so that's not a huge deal, but it felt clunky to type TAKE CAKE. (whoops) TAKE CUPCAKE frequently. I did enjoy some Quest features, such as a colorful automatic map and a compass rose showing viable directions at all times.

The author is quite on the ball (loved the trashy romance novel excerpt) and has included some original art as well. I'm almost certain she would be conscientious about synonyms and the like if Quest made it easy. I'm not vastly experienced with Quest, but I know creating a parser-style game on the order of one this fully-implemented is quite a huge task involving advanced scripting concepts despite the language's "easy" trappings which is why many of the games that come out using it (unlike this one) are relatively simple or CYOA.

I hope to continue this, which means I'm going to have to register for the Quest site (I'm sure I have before, just don't remember it) in order to save my progress. Definitely worth a look if you are on PC and can download the off-line Quest runner, or have a lot more patience than I do.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
An expansive and engaging magical puzzler with images, April 8, 2024
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

I was talking to someone about Quest games, and searched for the top rated Quest games of all time. It brought this up as number 1, a game by two-time IFComp winner Steph Cherrywell! I had seen it before, but never got around to playing it.

I strongly recommend downloading Quest to play this. Online, it gets slower and slower and eventually halts altogether. Offline, it worked great.

In this game, you play as a magical student coming back to your academy after a break. This is a small-scale school; less Harry Potter, more like X-Men school sized.

You have a spellbook with you, but it's blank! You can encounter up to five different spells.

Gameplay revolves around rescuing your friends (and maybe some not friends) who've been struck by various magical curses. I remembered Jenny Yoshida from Brain Guzzler's from beyond, and then Mary Jane, before looking it up and realizing that the two games share much of the same cast (though they are set in different universes). Each student comes with a well-drawn profile picture.

The puzzles were tricky for me. All were well-clued, and generally revolved around finding uses for each item or spell you find. But a lot of error messages aren't helpful if you almost get the right answer but not quite. The hardest part for me was (Spoiler - click to show)carving the jack o lantern(Spoiler - click to show). I tried (Spoiler - click to show)CUT PUMPKIN, CUT PUMPKIN WITH KNIFE, CARVE PUMPKIN, etc. So struggling with the parser adds to the difficulty. I ended up consulting a walkthrough several times.

The writing and setting is very charming, making this game overall very fun to play, despite my struggles. I'm glad the author went on to make hit after hit.

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Kid-Appropriate Games by Princessthe1st
I'm looking for games for middle-schoolers, that are hard and fun but still appropriate.

Mother-Daugher Relations by matt w (Matt Weiner)
What are some IF works that involve a relationship between a mother and a daughter? Not necessarily as the center of the work, but as something that impinges on it at all.

Games with good magic system by RedHatter
I'm looking for some games with a good magic system. Doesn't have to be at brilliant as Savoir-Faire but consistency would be nice.

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