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About the Story
A wordplay/quasi-maze game.
Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Individual Puzzle - 2013 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 5
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This game is by Andrew Schultz, a noted author of puzzle and wordplay games. You go around a three dimensional city with a list of tasks and addresses to complete them at.
Part of the game is just figuring out what is going on, which I didn't experience, as I already knew the premise.
The puzzles in this game are challenging but fun. Andrew has made it easier by not requiring you to solve every puzzle to beat the game.
A must-play for fans of wordplay.
I originally reviewed this shortly after playing it during the IF Competition, which was a mistake. The stress/strain of having limited time to play brought out a (bizarre) inability to even figure out the basic mechanism at play.
I've since re-played it: it is very, very clever, but far from impossible.
Don't spoil this one: most of the joy is in figuring out the mechanic and exploring it.
On top of the excellent puzzle mechanic, the writing is good, fun, and crisp.
This game is about wordplay, and it's mostly about figuring this particular puzzle out in a systematic manner (almost no objects to interact with, which in this case is fine).
You are given a list of tasks to accomplish, and each of them implies figuring out a specific command related to the constraint at play here. You can figure out about half of them fairly easily, then you realize that you missed a few more; you then get somewhat stuck, but luckily you can use the room numbers to try to get more information about the rest of the commands (very wise from the author to have included those, the game would be simply too hard without them). And then, there's the last lousy ones, including obscure ones (also, it's not very clear that you can combine two words, so you can get stuck on the longer words for a while if you don't realize that).
Apart from those commands, there's a few more that generate a (usually funny) response from the game - which is an interesting design choice (it could have been than any valid command would give you a point, but it's not; although I feel some of those "extra" commands could have been on the task list, which could have bumped the tedious ones off the list and made the game less frustrating). But yay for Big Lebowski references.
The writing was actually somewhat underwhelming, I found. Responses to valid commands rarely go for longer than one line, which doesn't really make it that rewarding. (I know writing 45 different responses is soul-crushing, but here I feel it's a necessary evil!!) The end message (for completing the task list) is incredibly underwhelming too. ((Spoiler - click to show)We spend hours running around, putting things in a quantum shoebox to prepare a mysterious party, please tell us how the party went, if the boss was pleased, how we managed to fill the room with the box's contents, anything!). I did notice a few typos, and a non-critical bug, but nothing more.
To sum up, it's almost all about that wordplay puzzle, which is fun and challenging, making the experience enjoyable but a little rough.
|Shuffling Around, by Andrew Schultz (as Ned Yompus)|
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Also known as Dungeon.
2013 XYZZY Awards Nominees by Molly
Here are the nominees for the 2013 XYZZY Awards, roughly by order of appearance on the finalist page. Note that this list does not cover the Best Technological Development Award.
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Games whose main 'genre' is wordplay. This list does not include games like the Edifice or Suveh Nux which have significant wordplay elements, but which are not the focus of the story.
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I'm interested in games that are set in cities - historical, modern, fantasy, or science-fiction. In particular, games that make you feel that you are in a real, functioning, busy city where life is being lived all around you. Which...
For Your Consideration - XYZZY-eligible puzzles of 2013 by Sam Kabo Ashwell
This poll is a place to suggest individual puzzles from games released in 2013, which you think might be worth considering for Best Individual Puzzle in the XYZZY Awards. Leave a brief, unspoilery-as-possible title for the puzzle in the...
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