The Song of the Mockingbird

by Mike Carletta profile

2021

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Number of Ratings: 4
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1-4 of 4


- Edo, October 21, 2021

- cup_half_empty, October 18, 2021

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
If only I had my six-shooter..., October 17, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Western

Well, then this game would not have a reason to exist, which would be a shame.

You've fallen head over heels in love with the sensuous dancer Rosa. A gang of hoodlums stole her away from your embrace.

They took your pistol for good measure. This leaves you no choice but to rescue your damsel in distress with nothing but your brain and whatever you find lying around.

This setup clears the way for a collection of great puzzles. All of them require a good deal of common sense, and when you notice that your sense might be too common, the ability to think around the corner. Many times the use of the objects is not straightforward, leading to some very nice "Aha!"-moments.

This uncommon-sense feeling is reinforced by the map. It's quite small and contained. There are a bunch of locations to explore and a few cleverly placed bottlenecks. At almost every point in the game, you can be sure that you have seen every accessible inch of your surroundings and found every object there is to find. The challenge then becomes straightforward and deceptively simple: "Here is your inventory. What to do with it?"

I liked the writing a lot. The style of puzzles requires a clear visualization of the locations, but the author manages to throw in enough small surprises and unexpected details to keep the descriptions from becoming a list of notable features.

The overall tone of the piece caught me off-guard. From the intro and the characterization of the protagonist as a singing cowboy, I expected a lighthearted parody of western-tropes. In many places, this is true. Until you get to the more serious and sometimes downright brutal bits. It's not easy to blend these together, but The Song of the Mockingbird doesn't feel disjointed because of it. It serves rather well to highlight different aspects of the protagonist's character.

The song-lyrics throughout the story and especially the historical notes at the end tied this game together and showed just how much this game was lovingly polished.

Very good game.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A polished Western parser puzzler about surviving a long shootout, October 12, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

This game is a nice entry in a very under-represented niche of parser games: Westerns. While there have been some entries in this genre before (a Scott Adams Game, the puzzle game Hoosegow, etc.), it hasn't really attracted a lot of attention.

In this game, you play as a sort of singing cowboy, but your gun has been taken. You're on a quest to save a woman named Rosa from a band of bandits. All you have is your wits and your trusty guitar.

Along the way, you'll solve a lot of tricky puzzles. This game had some of the harder puzzles in the comp (from my point of view). There are complex mechanisms whose purpose you have to unravel as well as many physics-based puzzles involving (mild spoilers) (Spoiler - click to show)heat, leverage, etc.

The story was pretty good. Like others have noted, it lacks the sense of urgency a drawn-out gun standoff tends to have in films once you start tooling around for the hundredth time. I'd prefer that over a turn limit, though! Second, there are some reasonable solutions that weren't implemented, particular when facing Whitey (I particularly would have appreciated responses saying I was on the right track for (Spoiler - click to show)putting hay in the barn and setting it on fire.).

The game has a lot of ties to real-life history with detailed notes at the end. The songs in-game include a lot of old classics that remind me of my grandfather who recently passed, and who loved singing cowboy songs. I think the game in general reminded me of him.

While the game did have minor flaws in the puzzles and story, I was overall impressed with it. Definitely would rank it at a higher difficulty rating than most games in the comp. I ended up using hints on only one of the puzzles, but the other two took me several days of on-and-off playing.



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