Glulx/Blorb Story File
The latest release
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
TADS 2 Story File
Requires a TADS interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links.
BBC Micro and Acorn Electron port by Dave Edwards
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Original ADRIFT Story File
Contains To Hell in a Hamper/Hamper.taf
Includes a walkthrough.
Requires an ADRIFT version 4 interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at

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To Hell in a Hamper

by J. J. Guest profile


Web Site

(based on 107 ratings)
13 reviews

About the Story

Professor Pettibone, eminent Victorian balloonist, has a problem. He can't get it up. His balloon that is. If he can't reach an altitude of 20,000 feet, and soon, both he and his mysterious travelling companion Hubert Booby will be burned to a cinder by an erupting volcano! But what is Mr. Booby concealing under his overcoat? Do all Ecuadorian peasants have BSc's? And what, in the name of all that's holy, is THE CURSE OF THE BLUE IBIS? All these questions, and several others, will be answered when you play "To Hell in a Hamper", a one-room game by J. J. Guest. *Winner of the Adrift Spring Competition 2003*

Game Details

Language: English (en-GB)
First Publication Date: September 13, 2003
Current Version: 1.0
License: Freeware
Development System: ADRIFT/TADS 2/INFORM 7
Baf's Guide ID: 2191
IFIDs:  13EA9076-0346-420E-AD30-92ADB57117AE
TUID: 6d9dfn2akcrlq1bu


Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Story; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best Use of Medium - 2003 XYZZY Awards

1st Place - ADRIFT End Of Year Comp 2003

1st Place - ADRIFT Spring Comp 2003


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Editorial Reviews

IF-Review (Archived on Delron)
Overall, this game fits into a growing category of works that combine light puzzles with strong pacing and good comic writing. I'd also put this year's Best Puzzles winner "Gourmet" (Aaron Reed, 2003) into that group, along with the first chapters of "Fine Tuned" (Dennis Jerz, 2001) and several of J. Robinson Wheeler's games. As it happens, I really enjoy such pieces. They don't always get the recognition that other games do, perhaps because they're not perceived as groundbreaking experimental work or as hard-core puzzle-fests. But humor and pacing are a real challenge to get right in IF, and a good IF comedy has a special charm of its own.
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Jay Is Games
The puzzles are light, the pacing is brilliant, and the humor is... humorous!
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Acorn Electron World
(This review is of the Acorn Electron version, ported to the Electron by David Edwards.)

To Hell In A Hamper is a perfect example of a modern day text adventure, brought wholesale onto a disc-based Acorn Electron by its author, J. J. Guest. You are one Professor Pettibone, a rather pompous and somewhat exasperated 'eminent Victorian balloonist'. The cause of the exasperation is your companion, one Mr. Hubert Booby, with whom you are sharing a once-in-a-lifetime skytrip. A rather exciting introductory diary explains how you came to be sharing your balloon with this apparent aeronaut, and also makes it very clear that Booby is the cause of all your current problems.
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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 13
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful:
Comedy that works, October 19, 2007

The premise is that you are trapped in a hot-air balloon, drifting perilously towards a volcano, accompanied by an uncooperative NPC who is carrying entirely too many heavy objects. Your task: get rid of everything that is weighing down the balloon so that you and your companion do not become one with the lava.

This is a very entertaining one-room puzzle game with a Weird Victoriana theme. It avoids some of the claustrophobia of other one-room games because the balloon is constantly in motion and the view outside changes as you go; the chief NPC is grumpy and untalkative, but in a convincing way; the puzzles are well paced.

The original version had some annoying parsing errors, but these may have been rectified in later releases.

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
One of the Best One-Room Games I've Played, November 14, 2014

I'm not a huge fan of one-room games, but, as others have noted, this game turns what is normally an artificial limitation into a natural extension of the premise.

The start of the game is, aside from its unusually long length, a textbook example of how to provide immersion, orientation, and urgency all in one go: The initial diary entries set the humorous tone and sketch the broad outlines of the main characters' personalities, the problem to be overcome by the player is both clear and logical, and the first steps on the path to winning are almost immediately apparent.

Most importantly, this game was fun! The mounting tension had me both typing and reading faster as the game progressed, with just enough comic relief thrown in to keep me grinning.

Though I did find some bugs, they were not enough to seriously impact the playing experience. Definitely worth checking out if you've missed it so far.

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Why you don't want an adventurer on your balloon, February 1, 2009
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
Related reviews: Comedy

The protagonist of To Hell in a Hamper has a problem: he's taken an IF adventurer on board. That, at least, is my explanation of why his fellow passenger Hubert Booby has collected such a load of junk, and is extremely unwilling to part with it. But part with it he must, or the two of you will fly against an erupting volcano and die!

The rest of the game is a satisfying sequence of puzzles where you have to discover all the stuff that Booby is carrying, and then somehow get rid of it. In some cases this is as simple as throwing it overboard (a Rembrandt painting, for instance), in others it is quite a bit more involved (the boomerang gives an obvious problem, and so does the cursed mummy).

One reviewer complained that you can get rid of some items too early, thus leaving the puzzles unsolvable. This has not been my experience; as far as I could tell, there was always an alternate solution. I cannot absolutely guarantee this, though.

My single complaint is that the game doesn't actually contain that many jokes. It has a good comic setup, and some of the stuff you discover inside Booby's coat is hilarious; but there are few events or descriptions in the rest of the game that make one laugh or smile. This game would have benefited from having Admiral Jota as a co-author; his gift for stuffing a game full of funny remarks would have been very effective here.

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The following polls include votes for To Hell in a Hamper:

Doing things backwards by Mike Ciul
Games that take traditional IF tasks and puzzles, and do them backwards or subvert them in a clever way. Thanks to olethros on raif for the inverse puzzle idea.

Best IF Titles by Fredrik
No doubt you have played some great games with great titles, or been disappointed to find games with great titles that did not hold up to expectations. What are the best titles of IF? They can be funny, elegant, evocative, or whatever...

Solved without Hints by joncgoodwin
I'm very interested in hearing truthful accounts of at least somewhat difficult games (or games that don't solve themselves at least) solved completely without recourse to hints, walkthroughs, etc.

See all polls with votes for this game

This is version 27 of this page, edited by J. J. Guest on 7 March 2022 at 11:39am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item