The Lost Spellmaker

by Neil James Brown

Fantasy/Romance
1997

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Shortish allegorical game with magic using little people, February 3, 2016

This 1997 IfComp game is notable for several reasons. It was nominated for best PC and best NPC in the XYZZYs. It features a romance between two women and also a character of indeterminate gender, which is unusual for a 90's game. Finally, it is an allegory.

The game is set in a town of little people who love chatting, eating sweets, reading books, etc. Your character is a member of the secret service in this town, and has to investigate the disappearance of one of its members.

The puzzles generally lead you on bit by bit. There is one annoying thing in that you know you need a very specific kind of help from someone, but only one person in the game can actually do it, and you have very few clues who.

Bizarrely, the game is an allegory for the conflict between home brew video game programmers and the Big Consoles. The names of characters and places in this game are anagrams for Usenet groups and for programmers.