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About the Story
or; Johnny Montana and His Missing Cowboy Hat
You, Johnny Montana, are a cowboy from 1883 inexplicably transported to modern day New York City. The world is a confusing and awful place, but nonetheless one you have to interact with, especially considering your newly cowboy misplaced hat. Explore the world and interact with what you can to try and find a replacement. This game is intended to be replayed. There are multiple different avenues for adventure, and it is up to you which ones you find yourself on each playthrough. The game contains swearing, and is not designed for young children.
35th Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)
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Number of Reviews: 3
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I think I underestimated this game going in. It seemed just like a regular old Ink game with a silly premise that would be over in a few minutes.
Instead, it was a somewhat longer ink game with a pretty funny premise and a lot more state tracking than I’m used to in Ink games.
You play as a cowboy who was been transported to New York City (I read that in the voice of the old pace picante commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi6AFz2fbr8&t=13s 1). Once there, you have to find your cowboy hat!
I liked the tone of the game. It reminded me a bit of old ‘holy fool’ operas/plays where someone’s pretty dumb but is resistant to suffering and oddly accepted by everyone around them.
I had recently revisited NYC after moving out years ago and it was fun to see how his experiences paralleled mine (like wandering through the city and accidentally ending up in Times Square, having wild youths follow you around–in my case, the students I was chaperoning–, a helpful city native who doesn’t really care what’s going on with you as long as you don’t get in their way too much).
There was a kind of stat system. I couldn’t tell if it was actually checking stats or just being goofy, but I liked the stat names. And frequently I had to strategize to try to figure out what to do next.
So overall, this seems just right for a mid-size game in IFComp: not long enough that you get tired or bored, not short enough that you feel like you didn’t play anything. Good middle ground.
All the Troubles Come My Way is a very short game, where the goal is to find your hat in a strange place. While the game is fairly small (you are limited in ways you can get to an end), it uses a stat check mechanic to let you/block you from using certain options. I found 3 endings.
ATCMW is very silly, and not apologetic about it. It knows it's silly, and will leave you with wanting more silliness by the time it ends (which is quite abrupt, unfortunately). I mean, why not have a time-travelling cowboy go into the future and disassemble and reassemble an Ikea table? This is the kind of silly I look forward in the comps :P
The stat-related interaction with the world around is delightful and quite funny, giving a nice flair to the overall vibe of the game. Though, it is a shame that levelling up those stats took longer than actually solving the main "issue". I wish we could have has more outside interaction (still in the building or outside of it), and be able to use those stats more.
I should have expected the consequences of drinking yourself under the table, but it still took me by surprise.
Still a fun short time.
The premise of All the Troubles Come My Way is exceptionally silly: you are a cowboy who has been transported 150 years into the future. You wake up in a bathtub (an empty one) and the point of the game is to find your missing cowboy hat. Or procure another hat that suits you. But this premise is worked out with a lot of what we can maybe call southern charm, as well as tobacco grit, and when all else fails, a real sense of rodeo, so I think we should say that Sam Dunnachie does cowboy justice to it. Those are the four 'stats' of the game, and mechanically, much of the gameplay consists in finding ways to increase these stats, since you'll need different stats to follow different paths to a cowboy hat. Cowboy Justice allows you to find your real hat; Southern Charm allows you to out-hustle the hat-wearing hustler; and I assume that the other two stats unlock their own paths (it's strongly hinted at that Tobacco Grit will allow you to go to the discount shop).
It's all genuinely charming. My favourite part was probably that involving the IKEA manual and the table, but all the interactions are well-written and inventive. So I enjoyed my time with the game. It's not a long time; All the Troubles Come My Way is very short. Indeed, the stat raising part in the apartment lasts longer than the actual quest to retrieve a hat, which feels a bit unbalanced. But it's a minor complaint. This entry is not very ambitious, but it delivers the entertainment it wants to deliver, and doesn't outstay its welcome.
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