Beanstalk the and Jack

by David Welbourn profile

Children's, Fantasy

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Number of Reviews: 1
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
One trick, but an interesting one, June 10, 2008

The content of this story won't be a surprise to anyone, and it's pretty light on puzzles, too: this is Jack and the Beanstalk told backwards. At each turn, you have to guess the move that Jack took to get to the present situation.

The resulting game is necessarily pretty linear, though not quite as straitjacketed as you might expect -- it's possible to wander around looking at things and taking other non-world-changing actions, as long as your next significant act is the correct one. The actual puzzle of figuring out what to do next is usually not that hard, given (a) the knowledge of the game state it produced and (b) familiarity with the original story, which means that the story goes by quickly and doesn't wear out its welcome. The peculiar reverse-causality remains entertaining throughout.

The implementation is pretty smooth overall -- I ran into only one or two moments where I had trouble with unrecognized commands that I thought ought to make sense. (Spoiler - click to show)In particular, I tried a bunch of variations of >ENTER OVEN, GET IN OVEN, OPEN OVEN, and the like, before realizing that I needed IN to hide there.

On the whole, this game doesn't have much to offer beyond its gimmick, but that's enough to amuse for the fifteen minutes or so it takes to play. And it's definitely an interesting take on treatment of time in IF.

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