The Land of Breakfast and Lunch

by Daniel Talsky

2020

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A first parser game with a surreal world and vivid imagery, April 3, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game is made by 1/2 of the team that made the excellent rabbit-based game Ürs a couple of years ago. It's a first try at making a parser game.

Programming-wise, it has a lot of things covered: edible food, rideable vehicles, conversation, active animals, devices, untouchable objects and other things difficult to program.

I was looking for more cohesiveness in the story or setting, though. I felt like the individual elements were interesting, but as a whole it didn't gel together. Its sparse, linear, fantasy setting reminded me of the Bony King of Nowhere, but it didn't have the common thematic elements that tied that game together.

There is one puzzle in the game which I only discovered by decompiling the source code. The author mentioned how no beta testers discovered it, but that the solution should have made sense.

This is an interesting point. The puzzle involves selecting one object out of many and using it in a location far from where it was found with little indication of any connection.

I've found that 'good puzzles' typically come from either:
-learning a complicated system with learning tasks followed by complex tasks
-setting up expectations and then subverting them, or
-providing a set of rules that players can strategize with.

The author framed this as a kind of learning exercise, and has shown great skill in programming. I believe that with practice, they could create truly great parser games, and look forward to any games they create in the future.


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danieltalsky, April 9, 2020 - Reply
Hey, the author here. Thanks for playing the Spring Thing games and reviewing them, I see you went through and reviewed everything, including The Land of Breakfast and Lunch.

I appreciate your review but I also find a review is best when it judges the game based on what it set out to do.

I saw that you spent most of your review talking about the puzzle design in the game. It's true that the puzzles are mostly ridiculous and not the most well-thought-out part of the whole thing. The thing is, I really try to make clear in the game's description, about text, score description, and in-game hint text that the puzzles aren't important or the point of the game. Very possibly I should have completely left the puzzles out of the game, but I know some people really like something to do or figure out so I left them in.

Here's a list of things you CAN do in the game that hopefully would delight a player BESIDES trying to solve a puzzle:
- Look at and smell all the breakfast and lunch items
- Bend the plastic doll
- Change the name of locations
- Find out the history of the Dutch ship
- Play with the dog
- Scare your brother
- See the names of all my dumb fake television shows
- Sing, pray, jump, look self, xyzzy, etc.

I use the word diorama because it's mainly a series of little scenes with descriptions of every little miniscule thing. You did mention another game that you felt like was similar but had more thematic unity and I do appreciate that criticism, but honestly the theme is a mish-mash of my childhood memories and things people my age might remember in a vague way about their childhoods or childhood stories.

Anyway, thank you very much for playing and reviewing the game but I did think it worth it to leave a response since your review may end up being the only thing publicly written about the game.
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