Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the StoryIt's been a hectic year, and it's time to get away. He told you that, and you agreed. Now you're here, in a grove of aspen, and long for a good, long bath in the nearby hot spring.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]
Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Setting; Nominee, Best NPCs; Winner - Bob, Best Individual NPC - 1997 XYZZY Awards
-- Duncan Stevens
Bob is worth noting because he's the rare example of an NPC who is much more developed than he needs to be; in fact, he's a relatively ordinary character with an ordinary life which you can even witness in all its glory. The failure to really fill out Bob's background is a weakness, yes, but even so, he does such a remarkable amount of things and reacts to such a remarkable amount of stimuli that one can only wonder at the amount of code that went into him.
-- Duncan Stevens a.k.a. Second April
See the full review
>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
She's Got a Thing For a Spring (hereafter called "Spring") is one of the most delightful and well-written games I've played in a long, long time. Its author is one of the few professional writers who has created interactive fiction, and his expertise shines throughout the game. Spring is set in a mountain wilderness with no magic spells, no high-tech devices, in fact no fantastical elements of any kind. Yet this game imparts a sense of wonder that is matched by only the very best interactive fiction. I found some of the scenes absolutely breathtaking in their beauty. Living in Colorado, I've spent a fair amount of time is settings similar to those described by the author, and I felt that the prose perfectly conveyed the both the tiny joys and the majestic grandeur of the mountains. In addition, the game's code usually dovetailed neatly with its prose, creating at its best a seamless experience of walking in nature.
See the full review
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review
I've spent the last few hours finishing this story and I feel like I'm slowly waking up from a dream.
She's Got a Thing for a Spring is a beautiful, beautiful game.
You're on a camping trip in a nature park with your husband. You wake up in the tent and find a note telling you to go find the hot spring by evening and wait there for him.
I pay a lot of attention to the handling of space, the feel of the map in IF. Often, that means I prefer big, sprawling games. She's Got a Thing for a Spring does something else entirely.
It has got a small map, about 25 locations. These are described so lovingly that you can almost smell the herbs in the midday sun, or hear the gurgling of the rapids in the stream. Birds flutter by unexpectedly, or sing unseen in a nearby tree. Other wildlife crosses your path, and when out of sight, their proximity is hinted at through sounds or smells.
Not all exits from a location are explicitly described. This gives a sense of freedom and accomplishment when you find another path or a gap in the bushes, and it adds to the spaciousness of the story-world.
In response to a directional command, the game describes the terrain you walk across, giving a sense of real distance travelled. The "flip flop" in the title of this review is what you read when you are walking with your flipflops on. Take them off and it changes to "splish splash" when walking in water. Not out-loud-funny, but one of the amusing details that pulled me smiling deep into this game.
To enjoy She's Got a Thing for a Spring to its fullest, do not think like an adventurer. Get in character and play your surroundings. The puzzles are fantastic example of the common sense type. No intricate, improbable machinery, no spells to try out on every part of the scenery. Just do what you would do in these circumstances. This type of puzzle is actually harder than you might think for text adventurers. We're conditioned to look for complicated solutions.
Your biggest help and source of amusement in the game is Bob. Bob is an amazingly well characterized NPC who can give you practical help with some puzzles. Much more than that though, he's a delightful old man to hang around with and talk to (and maybe haver some lunch with...)
Not all puzzles are mandatory for finishing the game. Do try and find them and solve them though, just for the fun experience.
And do try to remember to stop and enjoy nature frequently. Maybe look up that species of bird you just saw in the "Hiker's Guidebook" you're carrying, or those aromatic herbs...
She's Got a Thing for a Spring is a beautiful, beautiful game.
One of my favorite games of all time is Suzanne Britton's novel-length Worlds Apart sci-fi. She specifically cites this game and Sunset over Savannah (a game focusing on a beach and nature) as being an inspiration to her. Having played the two games, I really see how Worlds Apart took inspiration from this game. Worlds Apart is set in a forest near a beach. The forest part of the game is extremely similar to She's Got A Thing for A Spring, with vivid nature descriptions, a guidebook where you can look up plants and animals, and a specific animal (the pika/pakal) that seems almost directly borrowed, with slightly similar puzzles.
This made me appreciate both games more, as it helped me see some of the creative process. She's got a thing for spring is rare as being a realistic game without horror or magical elements. The closest game to it I've seen is A Change in the Weather, which came out a year or two before it.
There are some negatives; the game makes the unfortunate mistake of combining a large, nonlinear map with independent NPCs and tightly timed puzzles. This is a bad combination, as Jim Aikin learned with his game Last Resort, which also featured a huge map and tightly-timed puzzles. He solved the problem by re-tuning the game so that time changes are triggered by events, resulting in the excellent Lydia's Heart game.
Other games, like old Infocom games, have tightly-timed puzzles, but generally they have small maps that make replay easy, or confine the puzzles to a specific time and place.
So I just used a walkthrough to see the fun. The walkthrough was wrong in several places, so I had to improvise, and that was fun.
If you enjoyed She's Got a Thing for a Spring...
Related GamesPeople who like She's Got a Thing for a Spring also gave high ratings to these games:
Lists and Lists, by Andrew Plotkin
Average member rating: (23 ratings)
A tutorial in which a genie teaches you the basics of a simplified version of LISP. [--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]
|Border Zone, by Marc Blank|
Average member rating: (21 ratings)
Where the Iron Curtain divides East and West, the frontier is a no man's land between freedom and captivity, a place where moments lost or precautions not taken exact a toll in men's lives. In Border Zone, you cross this barrier not...
|The Lurking Horror, by Dave Lebling|
Average member rating: (81 ratings)
A winter night at the G.U.E. tech campus with most students away on vacation serves as the backdrop for this tale of Lovecraftian horror.
Recommended ListsShe's Got a Thing for a Spring appears in the following Recommended Lists:
Great games in a mostly realistic setting by MathBrush
These are games that for the most part don't contain magical elements or futuristic technology. This includes games where there might be magic or futuristic technology, but you don't know until the end. So several of these games do...
Active Non-player Characters by Emily Short
Games which make use of non-player characters that have a great deal of independence, often moving around and acting on their own, or taking the lead in conversation. Some of these are more successful than others, but all are likely to...
PollsThe following polls include votes for She's Got a Thing for a Spring:
IF with a sense of wonder by blue/green
What interactive fiction would you recommend that evokes a sense of wonder? These could be games that capture wonder or beauty in ordinary things, perhaps by viewing the world through the eyes of a child. Or they could be games that...
Games about travel by penguincascadia
This list is for games either about travel or with travel as a major part of the plot or background. Stuff like being able to choose where you go from a relatively wide range of destinations, road trips, exploring a city or region as a...
Influential Games by Rose
As a historical exercise, I've begun compiling a list of IF games that have either done something ground breaking with the medium or otherwise influenced it; and I've turned it into a poll so everyone can have input on the expansion....
This is version 7 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 21 September 2013 at 5:54am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item