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Spring Thing 2024 page
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Interactive Fiction Writing Month version (2009)
Contains mhilborn​_2/mhilborn​_2​_story.z5
Story file, walkthrough, and source code.
Requires a Z-Code interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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Octopus's Garden

by Michael D. Hilborn profile


(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

You have no complaints about your aquarium... except for its view. Youíve been staring out the same window for months on end. Itís time for this octopus to make a change.

Author's Comment: "This author's attempt at an interactive cephalopod escapade. Originally conceived and written during the second week of the first (and, possibly, only?) Interactive Fiction Writing Month, this game sat dormant on a hard drive for over a decade until recently dusted off and polished (a bit). Enjoy!"

Game Details


Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2024


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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An octopus nestled in sweaters!, April 7, 2024

This is a cute game! I've never played a game with an octopus PC before, and my favorite aspect was the descriptions, which paint such delightful pictures as an octopus snuggled up in a drawer full of sweaters and an octopus sitting on a window ledge high above the city. "You're splayed out on the hardwood floor" is just perfect too. I also thought the plot was well done; your goal is to get your owner to move back out of her boyfriend's apartment, and I wondered how I might possibly accomplish that until it became clear that (Spoiler - click to show)her boyfriend is cheating on her, and thus my goal was to expose him.

I did have some struggles, mostly notably with the faucets as Mike already pointed out in his review. I also thought (Spoiler - click to show)opening the window latch with the plunger was a bit far-fetched; I don't think that would actually work IRL, and from the setup described I would have thought my arms would be able to reach it without issue. (Also, minor quibble, but octopus' limbs are actually arms, not tentacles!) It also got a bit old having to return to my tank every so often--I liked the realism of this, but I wish the game would've had me automatically drop everything I was carrying when I tried to get in, so that I wouldn't have had to type "enter tank. drop all. enter tank."

I had a little trouble with the endgame, too. Partly because I had completely failed to (Spoiler - click to show)examine myself in detail, so I missed that I could squirt ink until I turned to the hints for help with the clothesline--that one's definitely on me. But I also had to use the tip from Mike's review for getting the winning ending; (Spoiler - click to show)having to close the bottom drawer seemed pretty unintuitive, and I wasn't sure why it mattered that I was out of my tank at that point---I would have thought the presence of a stranger's underwear would take precedence. So overall I found it an enjoyable little game, just with a few hiccups along the way.

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This is version 1 of this page, edited by JTN on 1 April 2024 at 1:33pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page