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Story file
Contains GalaxyJones/Galaxy Jones.gblorb
Spring Thing 2023 version
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
Walkthrough and maps
by David Welbourn

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Galaxy Jones

by Phil Riley profile

Science Fiction

(based on 7 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

The Solar System’s greatest hero, Galaxy Jones, against the evil Admiral Thallium!

Game Details


Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2023


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Space camp, June 8, 2023

A campy sci-fi infiltration adventure with some pretty good parser puzzles. There wasn’t a lot to the story, but the banter between your player character Jones and her partner was a fun highlight. Some combat and stealth mixed in with more traditional inventory puzzles.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A sci-fi action adventure on Mars!, May 7, 2023

This is a well-designed parser game, with some nice visuals and a compact design that lets it be played in an hour or two.

You play as Galaxy Jones, crime fighting hero on Mars. Your nemesis has personally invited you to try rescuing a celebrity from his clutches, and you have to fight up his giant tower while facing his taunts.

The game is subdivided into 5 or so areas with roughly similar maps, each one containing its own set of puzzles. Many of these puzzles revolve around combat.

The game has 10 points possible, and each time you get a point, an ascii art GALAXY JONES logo fills the scree. Someone else mentioned they hear a guitar riff every time GALAXY JONES pops up and I have to admit I imagined one too.

I liked the writing and the gameplay. The game is overall polished, although I had a couple of times I felt like I was fighting the parser, particularly with trying to do anything with the cable in the first half of the game (Spoiler - click to show)like I tried to put it on the claw, attaching it to the cables outside on the ledge which weren't implemented, throwing it at another ledge). But I ended up figuring things out. These are just minor issues, and I suspect that most parser fans will enjoy this game. If there were an update tidying up things, I'd probably boost this to a 5 star rating.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
.. and the Delightful Despot, July 12, 2023
by JJ McC
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2023

Adapted from a SpringThing23 Review

Played: 4/9/23
Playtime: 2 hrs, finished. FOR NOW.

Like [REDACTED] years ago I went through a phase where I was fascinated by the pulp magazines of the 30’s and 40’s. High Adventure, against a backdrop of first draft wild ideas and third-hand science knowledge, delivered on an insane monthly deadline. These ingredients created some propulsive, wonderfully goofy, imminently readable stories. Not for nothing, the source of the word ‘pulpy’ as a narrative type. (Also yes, so much racism and sexism.)

Galaxy Jones is a wonderful echo of those tales - Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon without the White Man’s Burden. The game makes the crucial choice to cut away all the problematic baggage without comment or fanfare, and give us the straight uncut adrenaline. It would have to REAAALLY drop the ball to lose me, and it didn’t.

As a parser game, there were rough spots. Quite a few unimplemented nouns:

"[...] the dock features several dozen speeder bays. Only a few are
filled right now. [...]
">x speeders
"There's nothing like that nearby."

Or worse, then:

">x speeder
"(the speeder)
"Galaxy One [...]"

This kind of thing happened often enough that it left an impression, but the piece is so tightly paced it doesn’t let you dwell on it in the moment. Most commands give a concise and often amusing 1-2 lines max in response. The thing is sprinkled but not drowned with dry humor and pulpy spice, letting your internal Buck Rogers fan fill in what’s necessary behind the nicely thematic cues. This gives the whole narrative an internal momentum, like ‘no time for details, here’s what’s important, quick, what’s next?’ It is such a successful marriage of form and function. The pace is further reinforced with relatively spartan locations, again discouraging extended loitering. When you do get more than 4 lines of response, it immediately conveys, ‘wait, this is big!’

The puzzles are, for the most part, also pretty streamlined. It is uncommon that things you need are not a room or two away. I struggled with one ledge-related puzzle but was otherwise fine. (I particularly like the task boards, though I was crestfallen that adding ‘solve my puzzle’ to the board didn’t actually get it done. :] ) I go back and forth on whether the relative simplicity is a drawback or a feature - it certainly supports the dynamic momentum of the story to not spin excessively on locked doors. Given all that, the presence of inventory items (some of which were tricky to collect) that were ultimately unused was confusing, unless some puzzles had multiple solutions?

The game further endeared itself to me by implementing in-game hints in the form of your ‘gal behind the keyboard’ over comm link. For sure the positive outweighed the friction by a good margin, and that’s even before the part that had me giggling and clapping like a toddler getting a new woobie. Which I will spoiler because the surprise is part of the delight.

(Spoiler - click to show)The piece opens with an ascii-banner, the logo of our heroine. Itself, just a perfect mood setter for the vibe of the piece. Then, after the first significant victory, the logo flashes beneath your success text, “GALAXY JONES!” It is the most perfectly surprising, evocative, and delightful touch, and you get it with every subsequent major success. I am on record calling that the best 8 lines of IF in 2023. I stand by that assessment.

After a whirlwind of action/adventure, it ends on a cliffhanger, promising another episode! A really well executed homage, crisply translating classic pulp fiction’s narrative momentum into the IF medium. Also translating retro-pulp into the new millennium, come to that.

Spice Girl: Ginger Spice
Vibe: Sci-Fi Pulpy
Polish: Textured
Is this TADS? No.
Gimme the Wheel! I would take time to scrub the noun universe, and to a lesser extent verb responses. There were enough glitches for me to notice them, even at the speed I was moving. The skeleton and muscles of the game are there. At this point, it’s all polish.

Spice Girl Ratings: Scary(Horror), Sporty (Gamey), Baby (Light-Hearted), Ginger (non-CWM/political), Posh (Meaningful)
Polish scale: Gleaming, Smooth, Textured, Rough, Distressed
Gimme the Wheel: What I would do next, if it were my project.

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Galaxy Jones on IFDB

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