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About the Story
It's 1920, you're a minor aristocrat fallen on hard times, and your wretched Aunt Cedilla is on the warpath. A Wodehousean comedy of manners, manors, mysterious butlers and unfriendly poodles.
16th Place - 12th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2006)
Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2006 XYZZY Awards
Jay Is Games
Because of its relatively simple plot and small environment, Aunts and Butlers is a good introductory game for anyone new to the world of interactive fiction. And apart from a rather stale maze sequence, the game feels fresh and interesting at every turn. Put on your tailcoat and grab the teacup, Aunt Cedilla is waiting for you in the drawing room.
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If you aren't as much a fan of P. G. Woodhouse as I am, you'll probably see Aunts and Butlers just as a light-hearted, not too deep work with an unproblematic gameplay, good enough to while away an hour or so. It has a slight general adventuring frosting, which isn't necessarily needed and could be removed without anybody missing it, yet, on the other hand, it doesn't hamper the game, either.
-- Valentine Kopteltsev
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Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
I really enjoyed this game. The writing was entertaining and the plot, while off-the-wall, was fairly straight-forward. I found most of the puzzles to be fairly easy but quite clever (more than once I found myself trying something thinking "this is never going to work" and then "whoa! it worked! *helpless giggling*"). Also, I found the various methods of death wildly amusing.
Bottom line? Give this game a try, just don't take it too seriously.
In this mid-length parser game written entirely in Java, you are a petulant British man whose rich aunt is visiting, and you have to take a large number of actions to get her wealth. These include some pretty horrible actions, including killing off numerous people, but it's all presented as comedy.
The parser seemed pretty good. The writing was based a bit on Wodehouse's writing. The puzzles are a mixed bag, with a lot of guessing what the author was thinking; however, each area is so small so that you can just try everything and eventually get it right. The last half of the game involves visiting 8 time periods to obtain enough articles of clothing to enter a certain building.
The game is notable for a mysterious butler figure that attends you and acts at first as an automatic warning system, and then as a summonable help system. He is dry and witty. He was nominated for Best Individual NPC in the XYZZY's, and the game was nominated for Best NPC's.
The opening paragraph of Aunts and Butlers immediately sets the tone for this game: silly, jolly punniness played off of British stiff-upper-lipness.
The first part of the game succeeds in keeping up this atmosphere. You play an impoverished young man from a wealthy family. Your filthy rich aunt is coming to visit and you will have to jump through hoops to have a chance to get some money from her so you can pay your debts.
The puzzles are not difficult. The game pretty much tells you what to do, in a polite and British way. The implementation might give some troubles: when trying to interact with something, the game does not differentiate between an unimportant object or an object that is simply not there.
Up until here, I had great fun trying stuff out and breathing in the fresh British air.
Unfortunately, after solving the bottleneck-opening puzzle at the end of this first part, the game loses its ambiance and slides off into oldschool incoherent silliness (the bad kind). A medieval knight and a starship are involved, among other things.
In the hints for one of these rooms, the author writes that this room was coded at 11pm the night before IF Comp's deadline. I suspect that he turned to unfunny random madness as a last resort, pushing himself to get something finished to enter in the competition. Pity. I would have loved to see what this game could have been if it stuck to its first-paragraph principles.
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