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12th Place - 10th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2004)
Nominee, Best Puzzles - 2004 XYZZY Awards
Brian Rapp's game is unique (at least in my not-so-extensive experiences with modern Interactive Fiction) in several ways. First, the multi-layered reality, through which you can move forwards and backwards, is very interesting. Second, the PC has urges in her inventory, which can be examined for tips on what to accomplish next. Third, the author uses a design gimmick, which is revealed in portions of the built-in tips and in the second walkthrough. [...]
It's a puzzle game, and sometimes thesolutions seem pretty obscure (I requested in-game hints several times). It's a good game, though, and the innovative gimmicks make it memorable.
-- Mike Snyder
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>INVENTORY - Paul O'Brian writes about interactive fiction
Best of all, though, is the extremely clever conceptual gimmick at the heart of the game. It was subtle enough that I got through and enjoyed the whole game without recognizing it, but interesting enough that once I figured it out, it opened up new vistas for me. I definitely recommend playing this game, and I recommend not typing SECRETS until you've played through once. Then play it again -- if you're like me, you'll be too entertained not to.
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Number of Reviews: 5
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This is the sort of game where I scream out "I want more games like this!" though I'd have absolutely no way to tell people how to go about writing them. It has the abstract puzzle-solving, but nothing too hard, and it has some puzzles you've roughly seen before, but nothing like the infamous 5- and 3- gallon jugs and needing 4 gallons, or whatever.
And some of the puzzles left me reaching for the hints even on replay a few months later, but it was more to see what happens next than to get on with it. It's a cheery and funny little farm game with a lot of harmless humor and down-to-earth writing.
Only it isn't quite. There's a bit more, and once I saw the alternate way through, yes, it's very clever, and I appreciated the twist once I saw it. The only problem is, I wasn't able to figure that out for myself.
The HINT (object) usage is very nice and forward-looking, and it's quite possible this game inspired me to use it in two of my own games. It's appreciated, at any rate, to keep immersion, and given how long ago this was written, the author deserves commendation.
Goose Egg Badger is a very good game that doesn't bring up philosophical discussion of What Interatcive Fiction Is, and that's just fine by me. It executes its own ideas faithfully and certainly left me smiling and wishing I could find a similar hook and share/execute it as well.
This is a very clever game. But there's a good chance that you'll experience its cleverness only in a very passive way, because the game withholds a "secret" from you until you either type SECRETS (which isn't spoilery) or look at the second of the two in-game walkthroughs by typing WALKTHROUGH TWO -- but please don't actually do that!
If you do peek at Walkthrough Two, you'll be spoiling what would otherwise have been a whole new challenge, which is to try to solve the game using a secret vocabulary -- a vocabulary which is more restricted than that of the conventional solution (WALKTHROUGH ONE). Information about the nature of the secret vocabulary won't spoil the game, but I've still chosen to hide that information in spoiler-tags in this review.
I suggest that you first solve the game conventionally; then come back here and read the hidden text below; and finally try to solve the game again, but this time using the secret vocab only.
(Spoiler - click to show)The game can be solved using the names of certain objects as verbs. One obvious example involves the IRON: not only can you TAKE IRON (noun usage), but you can also IRON SHIRT (verb usage). There isn't actually a shirt in the game -- but that's not the point. The point is that the player can use the word IRON both as a noun and as a verb.
So the challenge for your second playthrough of the game is to first determine which words can function as both nouns and verbs, and then to complete the game using only those words, and using each of them as both a noun and a verb at some point during your playthrough.
I had a BLAST with this game. It was one of the few IF games I've played that actually made me laugh aloud. The writing is clever and there are many responses built into the game, so it makes experimentation fun. It's difficult to describe this game without giving anything away, so I'll just say this: For anyone loves clever wordplay, this game is a treat. Huge kudos to the author for this engaging and satisfying game!
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