She's Got a Thing for a Spring

by Brent VanFossen

Slice of life/Travel
1997

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Number of Reviews: 4
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Flip flop. Flip flop. Flip flop., February 24, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Slice of Life

What an atmosphere...

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.