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About the Story
From the introduction:
2nd Place, TADS Division - First Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1995)
A small game based on old Warner Brothers cartoons. You play "Elmo Fuld" in pursuit of a certain rascally rabbit. Game structure provides an illusion of freedom, even though the puzzles can only be solved in linear sequence. Features cartoon physics (ie, you can walk off a cliff and hang in the air unsupported for a while.) Doesn't really capture the feel of the cartoons, but that's a given for any text-based medium.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
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Number of Reviews: 5
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"Toonesia" by Jacob Weinstein is a parody of the old Warner Brothers cartoons. True to form it includes some of the settings that characterized Bugs Bunny, Road Runner, and Daffy Duck cartoons. It contains appearances from all of the above and a Tasmanian Devil, though all the characters are renamed. Notably, you play Elmer Fuld, captured by Bud Bunny.
This game had it's clever moments and successfully emulated the attitude of the source material and contains some pretty clever puzzles. Unfortunately this game also shows its age with very sparse implementation. I felt like the author passed up a lot of opportunity to write funny room descriptions in the style of Elmer Fudd, but alas, most of what happens in the text of the game is mere reference to the style of the cartoons it's based on.
The map alternates wildly between ecosystems (in one room you're in the forest, in the next, a desert mesa), but this could be accredited to cartoon logic. However most of the Warner Brothers cartoons I watched as a kid would feature one or two of our favorite characters and would keep a fairly consistent setting, maybe switching between the woods and interior of a house, at most. Most of the puzzles existed blatantly outside of the story, just as set pieces.
This game is based on a pretty neat premise with some potential for innovative work, overall though I would've hoped for more. I think most modern players would find it pretty underwhelming.
This is a very fun & short game, based on the "Looney Tunes" universe.
It took me less than an hour to complete, but I never-the-less got a great deal of satisfaction from solving its various puzzles (you get one point, out of a total of ten, for each puzzle, with the exception of the final puzzle, for which you get two points...however, one of the puzzles doesn't give you any points, so there are actually ten in total; ironically, the final puzzle is one of the easier ones, while the puzzle for which you receive no points is perhaps one of the more difficult ones, depending on your frame of mind upon approaching it). I had to use a walk-thru in order to solve the second puzzle, which in retrospect I still regard as the most difficult of the game, but I solved the other nine on my own.
The game does a good job creating an authentic "Looney Tunes" feel, and it has some clever twists, as well as some nostalgic references to real-life cartoon programs from the "Looney Tunes" era. "XYZZY" gave an amusing result, as did answering Daffy Duck, when he asked me if I had any questions. I suspect there are some other funny responses embedded within the code that I didn't manage to ferret out, and there is also a very humorous joke that probably won't make sense unless you were paying attention to domestic United States politics during Bill Clinton's first term in office (for those of us who were, well, I literally laughed out loud).
While I like this game very much, I do have one issue with it, to the effect of its being EXTREMELY linear. All of the ten puzzles must be solved in a single order, alas. Despite that very serious limitation, this game is apt to present you with an enjoyable IF experience.
"Toonesia" is a light, pleasant hodgepodge of Warner Bros. cartoons, which effectively recreates the world of 2-D animation. It manages to squeeze the desert of Wylie Coyote and the Roadrunner, the woodlands of Bugs Bunny, and an abandoned jewel mine into a small setting. In the weird world of 'toons, this makes sense.
But, while Weinstein's writing is solid, and his programming is usually transparent, the game has some problems. One nasty bug will kill your player character if you pay attention to it. The east-west directions are reversed in the description of the cliff walls surrounding the Mesa. Even in a 'toon, this doesn't make sense.
And, while Weinstein did capture the essence of the Warner Bros. characters, he failed to make any of them very interactive. The most interactive one, Dizzy Duck, is also the most frustrating one. Oddly, Dizzy will react to Elmo's actions, but to nothing that Elmo, the player character, says to him! In the Warner Bros. world of hyperactive, clever, sarcastic characters, this just doesn't make sense either.
Despite these weaknesses, "Toonesia" is still an agreeable game. The puzzles are fairly simple, and entertaining, to solve, once you catch onto their theme, which shouldn't be difficult in a 'toon-sensical game.
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