Der Angstbaum

by Jens Bojaryn

Fantasy
2002

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Character-driven fantasy drama about chicken murder, January 22, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game has been on my wishlist for years, as it was constantly recommended to me by IFDB's old algorithm. But it's in German, and pretty complex german at that, which my high-school-german brain can't handle well. I also had to use DOSBOX to play it.

But I'm glad I did! The story in this is actually one of the best I've read in a while, not even just in IF, although it is very short.

The game has some worldbuilding you can read up on in a txt file attached to the Zip. It talks about the Boronois, a group of people that live far away that are (I think???) short, non-religious, and with traditions about marriage and competitions, and some relationship with magic.

You're in love with a girl, but to win her heart you have to have the biggest chicken in the competition tomorrow! So of course you break into your rival's house to poison his fat chicken. Unfortunately, you aren't the only one who's broken in...

Beyond one puzzle early on and a basic puzzle later (that is on a timer), most of this game is menu-based conversation, with an interesting cast of characters, including your love, your rival, and his family.

Overall, I really enjoyed this. It was definitely worth the wait. As a non-native speaker of German, the very complex language (for me!) was mitigated by the shortness and the multiple choice aspect.


Comments on this review

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Kinetic Mouse Car, January 23, 2023 - Reply
If you don't mind me asking, how many languages can you speak/understand?
MathBrush, January 23, 2023 - Reply
I can play French, Spanish, and German games with some dictionary help, on that order of understanding.

I’ve studied Chinese for years, but struggle a lot with it, and now some Greek and Latin. I’ve barely started Japanese and did a little Hebrew and Gaelic years ago, but not enough to read.

For this game though I had to use google translate a ton! Things like “hen breeding” and “offers of courtship” were way too hard for me.
Kinetic Mouse Car, January 23, 2023 - Reply
Still, that's impressive. You have a knack for languages.
MathBrush, January 24, 2023 - Reply
Thanks! That’s nice of you to say.
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