Number of Reviews: 5
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Putting the "Good" in the "Good Ol' Days", March 23, 2021
This game is awesome. The prose is just right: simple, evocative, but never terse. The puzzles are very solvable; I needed no hints to beat the game, though I may peek at them if I can't get at all three endings on my own. It really hits that sweet spot; it feel like Zork in puzzle design and writing, but without descending into self-parody or fourth wall-breaking, or constant references to the games it's celebrating.
I really do love those puzzles. Not only are there multiple solutions, but the solutions are all plausible and funny. Funny? Yeah, I laughed out loud at both the silliness of both the solutions and their outcomes. Perfect example of cartoon logic done right. They're zany ideas, the kind that you think of and go, "That could be it, but there's no way, that's too clever, it's probably something more boring." Fortunately, Johnson is no boring designer, and your imaginative or fanciful solutions actually work here! Of course, your mileage may vary. Moon logic notoriously varies from person to person. But man oh man, when you and the game are on the same wavelength, it's a great feeling.
I can think of few better games to show a new player to introduce them to old-school text adventures. They can play it on-line easily and it needs no additional documentation. The parser is great, supporting UNDO and a convenient browser save. And it's not some super-easy game that will hold their hand, either.
I can't say enough good things about this little quest. Smart but not smarmy, it's just what a throwback should be.