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One of the first IF games I ever played, November 4, 2017
The Hermit's Secret is an early 1980s Colossal Cave knockoff: find the treasures, put them in the right place, magic words, someone who chases you, someone who steals your treasures... but without the originality and atmosphere of Colossal Cave.
The parser is limited, in keeping with its 1980s release date. Some of the puzzles aren't too bad, but at least one of the better ones is lifted almost directly from Colossal Cave.
It's also buggy, but in a strange way. I've played two versions of it, and each had a different major bug that wasn't present in the other version.
This game holds my personal record for longest time to win an IF game. I first played it in 1985, and after a few weeks I was close to being finished with it. But with no InvisiClues and no Internet, I had no way to find out how to solve those last few puzzles. I played it on and off again over the years but never won it. Finally, in about 2004, I was playing through it again and stumbled across the solution to the one puzzle I hadn't figured out yet. I suspect I'll never top 19 years between starting and finally winning an IF game.
The Hermit's Secret probably wasn't bad for its time, but it's not anywhere near Infocom quality. While I feel some nostalgia for it, I can't recommend it except for historical reasons.