Toonesia

by Jacob Weinstein

Cartoon/Screen/Children's
1995

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Number of Reviews: 6
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1-5 of 5


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
[...no title...*scrunchscronch*...busy munching carrots...], September 9, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

It's impossible to translate the experience of watching a Looney Tunes-cartoon into text. Of course it is. All the visual slapstick, the funny voices, the wacky sound-effects, the physically impossible effects of the 'toons' actions on their surroundings...

Wait...

We just may have something there. One aspect that translates gloriously into the IF-medium is the twisted logic and the bending of physical laws that are so typical of cartoons from the Golden Age.

Toonesia takes the toon-logic from a typical Bugs Bunny & Elmer Fudd Cartoon. Then, first of all, it carefully changes just enough letters in the names to stay on the legal side of things (and berates you for breaking copyright law if you should dare to assume in typing your commands that this game is about Bugs Bunny or Elmer Fudd).

With copyright infringement now out of the way, the game charges ahead into a series of puzzles based on either full-blown cartoon logic, or on the typical behaviour of some of the protagonists of the Looney Tunes this game is most definitely not based on. (It is assumed that you have at least some passing familiarity with the cartoons this game is not based on...)

There's only one path through the game, the puzzles must be solved in a predetermined order. The map is very small, and the locations are rather sparse so there's not much room for in-depth exploration.

Actually, Toonesia does only one thing, and it does that thing very well: it takes one gimmick from the Looney Tunes-cartoons and squeezes it just to the point that it stays fresh and funny. It's a small game, allthough your actual playing time may vary depending on how quickly your brain catches on.

For the hour it took me to solve it, I found it very funny (I mean actually laughing at the screen) and very satisfying to feel the *click* when the "logic" snaps into gear.


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable Nonsense, August 12, 2020

"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.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A game based on Looney tunes; short, fun, sometimes unintuitive, February 3, 2016

This game came in 2nd in the TADS division of the very first IFComp. Unlike today, when works based on copyrighted material are rare, this game was based on Looney Tunes, with a few name changes.

The game relies on classic cartoon tropes. This isn't actually in the game, but an example would be finding a hole in the ground, and picking up the hole and putting it in your pocket.

It only has about ten points, and is pretty short. With most games from the 90's, I just use a walkthrough, as there were typically fewer synonyms implemented then and puzzles often require more guessing.

I actually really enjoyed this game. Very unusual.


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Praytell, what is the thing that exists in a state of elevation, physician?, September 14, 2010
by Xervosh (San Jose, Northern California)

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.


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
[insert Elmer Fudd speak here], September 5, 2008
by madducks (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Related reviews: IF Comp 1995

"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.



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