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Retarded Creatures and Caverns

by John Wilson

Episode 1 of Algy Series
Tolkienesque, Satire

Web Site

(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

Life in the SHYRE had its advantages: it was relatively peaceful and for most of the time quite uneventful; but occasionally something would take place that could make you wish that you were a million miles from there!

Up until now it had been just like any other day, but as soon as he saw Bulbo coming up his garden path, clutching a small brown parcel, Algernon knew that was all about to change, and he began to wish that he had gone to the local "TROLLS versus ORCS" match after all.

Guide Algernon past the dreaded denizens of the "caverns" utilising, where necessary, all the cunning and skill of a stalwart adventurer. Do battle with immense "creatures" and solve many intricate problems and puzzles in your search for great wealth and untold riches. Help Algernon overcome "hungry" Dragons and negotiate dark, twisty passageways... That is, if you can ever figure out how to get into the damn castle in the first place!

Will you be able to help Algernon solve the riddle of the name of the person responsible for building the castle in the first place, or even satisfy the needs of the evil creature lurking in the murky depths of the moat? Can you assist him in his search for the means to unlock the wooden chest or simply to probe the inner depths of the small pouch? Don't forget that in the SHYRE things are not always what they first appear and that even one-legged Elves have a purpose in life.

Game Details

Editorial Reviews

Best of the Indies
Retarded is not a large game which seems to be John Wilson's forte. However in each location there is a ton and a half of things to get through before any kind of progress is made. Getting into the castle has to involve one of the most convoluted puzzles of all time. This involves bootscrapers, stone masons and strange creatures that lurk within the moat.
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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Hard but fun puzzlefest, November 28, 2020
by Denk
Related reviews: The Quill, PAW, DAAD, Adventuron, zx spectrum

(Adventuron version reviewed)
Briefly explained, on behalf of his friend Bulbo, Algernon accepts a challenge in Castle Toidi. He must locate as much treasure as he can and slay as many creatures as possible, including a dragon.

This comedy is the longest game by John Wilson I have played so far (most have been short) and also the most entertaining. It doesn't have a lot of locations, but it is still crammed with puzzles. You score points for most of the puzzles and if you complete the game, you can get up to 250 points, though there is a less optimal ending with fewer points. Out of the 250 points, I only regard two puzzles of 15 point each, as unfair, as they require some hard verb-guessing and phrase guessing: (Spoiler - click to show)The verb "unravel" and the phrase "feel 'direction'" (e.g. "feel south"). And if the player types help, the former is given in a coded message.

I was stuck in a few more situations than the two mentioned above and consulted a walkthrough some more. But looking back, the puzzles were all fair except those two. With more patience, I think most experienced players could solve most of the puzzles. Though I try to avoid looking at walkthroughs, I usually end up consulting a walkthrough a few times (more if the game is really hard) when I play puzzlefests anyway, so to me it wasn't a big deal. What I do find important is, that I get to solve most of the puzzles without hints, which I did.

I enjoyed both the whimsical writing and the varied puzzles, which ranged from easy to harder and more clever. Overall, a fun game, and I am very much looking forward to playing the brand new sequel "Return to the Castle" written with Inform (more specifically PunyInform).

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Retarded Creatures and Caverns on IFDB

Recommended Lists

Retarded Creatures and Caverns appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Tolkien's Middle-earth games by Fredrik
Games that are explicitly set in the fantasy world Middle-earth, created by J.R.R. Tolkien.


The following polls include votes for Retarded Creatures and Caverns:

Best of The Quill, PAW and GAC by Denk
More than 1000 games were made with the British tools "The Quill", "PAW" and "GAC" through the 80s and early 90s. Some bad, others worth playing today. I would like to know which are the best. Those with the most votes are probably among...

This is version 7 of this page, edited by Denk on 28 November 2020 at 5:19am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page