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A Tale of the Cave

by Snoother profile

Humor, Poetry

(based on 10 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

No longer are William McGonagall's ruinous effects confined to poetry.

A Tale of the Cave is the unlikely marriage between Scotland's notoriously bad poet and the classic cave-crawl genre.

Made for the Ruin Jam 2014.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Current Version: 1
License: Creative Commons
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 417g4ca4ob92javy


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Number of Reviews: 3
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A short, poetic, Twine piece, September 4, 2014
by streever (America)

This is a fun little piece, with an attractive design and layout, meant to be played multiple times before you can reach 'the good' ending.

It's not difficult; actions are well-clued, and although you'll die several times learning the parameters of the Cave, the deaths are funny and enjoyable.

I really liked the attention to layout and design; this is an easy-to-read Twine.

I had a lot of fun reading this and highly recommend it; the poetry is awful in an endearing way, and packs this short adventure with whimsy and joy.

This game, though small, filks McGonagall/A poet so bad it makes us glad, May 5, 2022
by Andrew Schultz (Chicago)

The author told me about this game long ago and I never got around to playing it. He hasn't logged in for 5 years (since 2017) and seems to have disowned some of his early stuff, but this remains. It's a tribute to the very bad poetry of William McGonagall, which is now available in the public domain. I think I went and read it all and forgot to come back to ToC. One thing sticks with me more than any of his poems: someone claimed McGonagall would think twice about moving away from Dundee before the year 1893.

ToC is blandly titled and has little plot, and the only puzzle is an odd one, but that's appropriate, given how McGonagall's poetry itself is not especially rich, and it explores well-known rhymes and overused images. ToC is rather short and all in poetry, with very few rooms and only one real puzzle, but of course too much McGonagall could be, well, too much. At some point, we get the point, and that's that. The cadences are all in the McGonagall style, and years after reading him, I wasn't able to pick out what was original stuff by the author and what was fake. But it was all pleasant. McGonagall wasn't particularly known for his epic poems, and those that were kind of ruined the joke.

There are other, deeper poetry-based games out there, but this is amusing and a nice introduction, and I wish I'd remembered to look at ToC before the author left, so I could say thanks to him.

ToC feels like something that could be expanded a bit for other projects or for other authors (I'd love if someone did an Amanda McKitrick Ros matchup, as bad prose tends to take longer to grate than bad poetry--I believe the author may have let me know about her, too!) and there have certainly been more robust efforts. But this does the job for what it wants to be, and if the author has rejected other juvenilia, he has his reasons, but he was right to keep this up. It's a small joke but a good one.

1 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Disturbing, very disturbing, September 5, 2014
by Daemon Pyrate ( Optional. For example, "San Diego, California," "Barcelona, Spain")

But a whole lot of fun. Like H.P. Lovecraft meets Dr. Seuss in a Zorkish scenario. Very cool.

If you enjoyed A Tale of the Cave...

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The following polls include votes for A Tale of the Cave:

Poem-based games with puzzles/endings by Andrew Schultz
I enjoy seeing people trying to mix poetry and puzzles. Even if it doesn't work, it still is fun to see people try, and quite bluntly, it's brave to attempt at all. I'd like to remove works like Phenomena or 100000 years from...

Games with amusing deaths by Andrew Schultz
Lots of games have one amusing death, but what games best take the concept and run with it? These deaths could be nudges on messing something up, or even better, or even a nice reward for a reader who is playing attention and notices a...

IF of yours you'd most recommend by blue/green
If someone were going to play one IF you've written, which one would you recommend? This can be based on any criteria you choose: personal favorite, highest rated, most representative, most accessible, whatever. (You can always change...

This is version 7 of this page, edited by Snoother on 17 March 2015 at 10:54pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item