The Blue Lettuce

by Caleb Wilson profile


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Number of Reviews: 5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
8 vegetables, but more pleasant than V-8, April 21, 2021

The Blue Lettuce was the only Inform game in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam, but it doesn't feel out of place, and its quality reflects the jam's general quality. It's a game about a groundhog who is looking forward to eating some magical blue lettuce. The puzzles are sensible, mainly about jumping around, and the prose is good. The way through is pretty clearly lit for those who just want to win, but I wasn't surprised there was more.

You'll probably miss a vegetable or two the first time through. The trickiest one for me to find on replay was (Spoiler - click to show)one that can actually vanish before you eat it. The puzzles are simple, in keeping with the jam's aims, and there's good variety in them. You'll never have to do anything radical.

I also like the responses to eating stuff you don't like, which rounds things out nicely. There's nothing crazy, but it all makes sense. Like I wouldn't expect the groundhog to enjoy grass, and they didn't. Between that and helpfully nudging you when you type in a wrong direction, It certainly goes along with the tutorial spirit of the competition. There's a crane as an NPC and a constant reference to the wizard who tends this area of odd vegetables, and that's nice to have, without forcing you into any tangled mythologies or complicated relationships.

Even though this game seems relatively simple, it had a few in-plain-sight points I didnít see when I just plowed through the first time, because I wanted to get through all the comp games. I didn't mind missing things, and I enjoyed coming back later. Someone who sits down and diligently tries to enjoy the game should find everything and have fun in the process. Itís also neat that you can get the lettuce and not eat it right away to try everything, and the blue lettuce itself is a neat goal: obviously magical, but not too silly. It reminded me how I liked blue raspberry gelatin or blue ice cream or weird blue candy or bubble gum a lot as a kid, maybe because it was a slightly unnatural color, and I convinced myself it tasted exotic even if it didnít really.