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About the Story
It's 1929. Incorrigible street urchin Lil' Ragamuffin and her sewer rat pal Percy have been imprisoned in the cellar of the Baleful Backwash speakeasy by dastardly gangsters. Save Percy and evade bootleggers, bluesmen, and bedeviling birds to escape this basement bastille!
Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2018
Number of Reviews: 2
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I've enjoyed the full Guttersnipe sequence of games; they generally feature well-thought out puzzles involving an urchin doing ridiculous things and eating junk.
This game puts a spin on things by placing your long-standing help system and narrative device Percy the Rat in confinement.
It features stereotypical Italians as the antagonists, with names like Tony Macaroni. It would be somewhat uncomfortable, except that it's less of a parody of Italians themselves and more of a parody of gangster movies's and novels' parodies of Italians.
There were several bugs in the version that I played, but it made the game more interesting, as I had to type exactly the right command, and it became just another puzzle. But polish and interactivity correspond to two of my stars, which is why I'm giving 3/5.
Since my original review, the game has been revised to fix many bugs, so I'm increasing my score to 4/5.
Our dearest foulmouthing lionhearted street urchin Lil' Ragamuffin is in trouble. Again. A gang of maffia goons with a serious case of stereotypicalitis want her pet rat to make money in the cage fights for them. Of course Ragamuffin isn't going to rest until she sets things straight frees her buddy.
In the usual style of the Guttersnipe-games, reaching the endgoal involves a bunch of interconnected far-fetched fetch-quests, each even sillier than the next. Still, once you get the hang of things, there is a certain warped logic to the kinds of solutions that work.
As with the previous installments, there are a lot of rough edges in The Baleful Backwash. Sorely missing obvious synonyms, a grating lack of customised responses, some typos and small bugs.
However, this adventure easily rises above those imperfections through the spontaneous fun it draws forth in the player.
Lil' Ragamuffin is an endearing character, but don't tell her that. You'd hurt her street-urchin's sense of pride. The other characters are walking dripping clichés, but in this style of game they are more than welcome. Their one-sided stupidity adds to the comedic atmosphere, and for cardboard cutouts, they have a surprising amount of things to say about each other and about the useful objects in the game. Ask them about anything you can think of, it'll greatly help you in figuring out what to use for which puzzle.
The map turned out bigger than I expected when going in. Not only were there more rooms, but the place also felt big and alive because of the elaborate moody descriptions of the locations.
The author uses a fast yet precise writing style, with many details singled out but all of it seen through the eyes of the main character. This makes it easy to sympathise with Ragamuffin and to share her outrage at her best friend being held captive.
And an outraged Lil' Ragamuffin is a joy to be around, as long as you're on her side.