Foo Foo

by Buster Hudson profile


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Number of Reviews: 8
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1-8 of 8

Cheesy dealings..., June 24, 2022
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

Once again, your good nature got the better of you. (You are, after all, detective Good Fairy.) You hide Foo Foo, a suspected "bopper", putting off reporting him to the proper authorities while you investigate the case to your contentment.

Something deeper is brewing here in Fieldtown, and you want to get to the bottom of it...

Foo Foo is a "Fable Noir". All the characters are animal stand-ins for humans in a tale that's ultimately a reflection on human society. The animal characters further line up (more or less...) with the classic personages from a noir detective work. The thick-skinned detective with a secret sensitive side, the heel-turn friend, the louche bar owner/mobster. (Strangely, no mysterious dame with a husky voice and one of those slim cigarette pipes in the corner of her mouth…)

The story in its broad outlines, with its recognizable tropes and familiar pacing, follows the beats of a classic noir work to create and sustain the suspense. This makes it rather predictable in oversight.
However, tropes are tools, and the specific story they are used to tell in this instance is a deeply thoughtful one. Social inequality, money trumping law and a personal romantic backstory all come together.

This game has so many positives going for it. Great backstory and worldbuilding. Nuanced story with a shady morality. No problems with implementation, good and sometimes clever puzzles.

Then why was I left with a nagging feeling of disappointment after playing?

The map.

The structure of the map let me down. Well, the structure of the map ànd the description of the outdoors.

The game takes place on one straight street (alright, there's one bend...) that feels like a cardboard theatre decor. All the houses and shops that are relevant to the investigation are on the north side of that street. During the game, I kept hearing a tv-show host yelling in my ear: "Let's see what's behind door number three!"

(Actually, there is a back alley that becomes relevant later, but by then the tv host had taken up permanent residence in my forebrain.)

Small changes would have made a world of difference to my experience of the game surroundings. A fence and a construction site to block off the south side of the map for instance. Maybe a few streetmice peeping around a corner and a forgotten newspaper on the ground.

Great story, told in a very engaging style. A tad too quiet on the street.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Light and Lovely Noir Romp, August 24, 2021

A lovely noir genre item, set in "Fieldtown". Noir tropes combine with the twee nursery setting in a fun way. The hint mechanism---a soothsaying Detective Murphy---is fun and helps smooth the edges around some of the puzzles.

I tend to prefer a limited vocabulary, and I occasionally had trouble with the parser (sensible things to do don't get a response that points you elsewhere, though even the first hint was fairly lucid without being a spoiler). The narrative is fun and noirish, with interesting choice points---but it's also a bit of a railroad.

Overall, this was a very fun ~2 hour play. Not nearly as deep or engaging as other work by the same author (The Wizard Sniffer, Oppositely Opal), but still very fun.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
A brilliant take on noir, April 10, 2021
by Chin Kee Yong (Singapore)

This is the kind of game that lures you in with twee storybook trappings before bopping you on the head and leaving you out cold in a dark alley. It's a magnificently competent parser game with far more worldbuilding chops and emotional weight than it has any right to have.

You play Good Fairy, Senior Detective, in a brilliant noir plot about corruption, cheese-dealing, and cutthroat economic pressures. There's a gunfight. There's a femme fatale. The prose is good; the drama meaty. That the author has turned a story about fairies and talking animals into a piece of gripping crime fiction is, I think, a truly commendable effort.

The puzzles were straightforward and signposted well, and I enjoyed the diegetic hint system in the form of Murphy (although I didn't use it very often). I very much enjoyed the multiple plot twists and the moral choices that Good Fairy was called upon to make.

Overall 9/10 game. Short, sweet, and wonderfully sharp, like a meringue you could cut someone with.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Foo Foo: cuddly genius, October 7, 2020

This is a serious 9/10 -- 10/10 game.

Some isolated thoughts:

I don't know if I can get enough of the concept of small cuddly stuffed animals being embroiled in a hardboiled noir story. A few of my favorite quotes for the sake of cuteness (minor spoilers):

(Spoiler - click to show)Lions, tigers, and bears, all beautifully crafted, lifelike. Malice flashes in their beady plastic eyes. They reach into their own stuffing and withdraw a handgun each.

(Spoiler - click to show)
You hold Doohickey up in front of your face and get licked softly and dryly, because his tongue is made of felt.
>pet doohickey
Doohickey wags his tail.

The worldbuilding is great, the action is thrilling, the twists are spectacular, and the ending broke my heart a little bit.

My only complaint is (major spoiler) (Spoiler - click to show)when Sabado tells you to get anything "with wish powder on it" out of the area, I thought he was referring to any stuffed animals that were still 'alive', and so didn't realize that he was also referring to the pouch of wish powder. Other than that, everything's quite clear and well-laid-out.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Sharp-witted noir under a fluffy covering, March 30, 2018
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: sanguine

If you like Jasper Fforde’s Jack Sprat series, a novel series giving a noir spin to nursery rhymes, you’ll probably enjoy this. All the field mice have been leaving town; someone’s been bopping heads - and it’s up to you, Fairy Detective, to find out why.

Hudson’s writing is extremely readable, and while the characters may be talking fluffy animals, there is sharpness underneath. The forces working in the town are the familiar push and pull of racism and the search for better opportunities, anthropomorphism or not.

Foo Foo is directed enough that I could figure most things out with just a little guidance and some in-game hints. Overall a well-written murder mystery, with an intriguing setting that I enjoyed.

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Nice story, March 10, 2018
by f-a

The set-up, writing, characterization, are funny and serious at the same time and well fleshed out.

I didn't have much fun solving the puzzles, but it was worth playing!

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Delightful and well crafted, March 8, 2018

This was a great pleasure to play.
The narrative was witty and entertaining; the locations were nicely set out with not too much to-ing and fro-ing; the puzzles weren't particularly difficult but none-the-less kept me playing.
The npc characterisations were good and although very limited in interactivity, presented enough variety in the responses not to come across as 'token'.
As a small gripe, the 'easy-exit' presented at the beginning seemed unnecessary - with this available, I would perhaps have preferred a form of score so you would know how you did when exiting.

I definitely recommended this.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A blend of nursery rhymes, puns, and Ryan Veeder references with great NPCs, April 7, 2016

This game was the winner of the Ryan Veeder Exposition for Good Interactive Fiction. That contest was judged solely by Ryan Veeder, a prominent IF author.

This game takes the nursery rhyme "Little Bunny Foo Foo" and references from Veeder's games and blends them into a truly enjoyable story. The highlight of this story is the dialog, masterfully written and emotionally affecting.

You play the Good Fairy who is trying to help out Foo Foo the rabbit. There's a long street with shops and people to investigate.

It's hard to describe the game more without having you play it. Suffice it to say that this is my favorite game of 2016 (up to mid-April, when I'm rating this).

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