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by David Welbourn

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The Legend of Horse Girl

by Bitter Karella profile

2022

(based on 6 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Welcome to Santa Diablo, Texas, a tiny desert town held in the grip of fear by a corrupt judge and his gang of outlaws. No one dares to stand against these rustlers. No one, that is, until the fateful day that SHE came to town: a mysterious drifter with no name and her name is... Horse Girl


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: Unknown
TUID: o3crh1f9rmli24o9

Awards

Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2022

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3 star:
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Number of Reviews: 3
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A quest for justice (sort of) in the Old West (sort of), May 12, 2022
by EJ

The Legend of Horse Girl is a gleefully absurd take on Western tropes, starring a heroine raised by wild horses and featuring a bar staffed by coyotes, apparently sentient tumbleweeds, snake oil farmers, dairy spiders, and more. Itís also pure, (mostly) unadulterated fun. I am not exaggerating when I say I laughed out loud multiple times while playing this game. I was unreasonably amused when the character Butch McCreedy turned out to have a twin named Femme McCreedy, for example. And then thereís one puzzle solution that involves (Spoiler - click to show)dunking bats in milk as if they were cookies until they get fed up with this treatment and fly away, the mental image of which just killed me. (I thought I was going to be (Spoiler - click to show)actually drowning them, which would have been ridiculous enough, but the way it played out was funnier.)

Speaking of the puzzle solutions, theyíre generally just as absurd as everything else in the world of the game, but most of them are signposted well enough that it works anyway. Given that the gameplay is very straightforward (get items, use them on other items, repeat) and requires few unusual verbs, one could say that trying to figure out what might work per the internal logic (such as it is) of the zany setting is the puzzle, in most cases. And when that works, itís tremendously satisfying. There were a few places in which the leap of logic the game wanted me to make was a bit too far for me; I donít know if there were things in the game that I missed that would have hinted at these solutions, though.

I did wish a little bit for a built-in hints function, although the list of necessary verbs in the ďaboutĒ text sometimes proved helpful Ė not so much for guess-the-verb issues, which I didnít feel the game had many of, but because in some cases the very presence of a verb in the list hinted at an approach to a puzzle. Also on the subject of quality-of-life features, I did appreciate that the game usually removes objects from your inventory if you donít need them anymore.

There was also one aspect of the structure with which I struggled a bit: you can, essentially, encounter the introductions to the majority of the gameís puzzles right off the bat, without even beginning to solve anything. This made it sometimes unclear to me what order I should be trying to solve the puzzles in, and whether I didnít have what I needed to solve a particular puzzle yet (probably because it was gated behind the solution to some other puzzle) or whether I did but hadnít figured out how to use it. But this is, I think, not an objective flaw but a matter of taste Ė I personally get a little overwhelmed by having a ton of "open" puzzles at the same time, but others might prefer that to a more linear approach.

And in the end, the charm of the writing carried me through these minor frustrations without much difficulty. Despite any nitpicks, I had an absolute blast playing this game, and thatís the important thing.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An amusing and mostly-solid western story with grotesque humor, April 22, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

Bitter Karella has been making games for many years now, but I think this is the best one I've played so far, for my tastes.

You play as a cowgirl whose beloved horse has been stolen by a lying, murderous judge, and you have to get it back.

It's set in a wide town with quite a few locations, and even more that get unlocked over time. I say the humor is 'grotesque', but by that I mean that a lot of solutions are amusingly gross.

The characters are vivid and based on tropes and stereotypes, like a snake-oil salesman, a crazy miner/inventor, a brothel owner, etc. A few of them lean heavily into racial and cultural tropes, like an opium-smoking asian man named Lucky Strike or a hispanic saloon owner named La Muerte with a face painted like a sugar skull. I'm not really fond of relying on racial stereotypes, but all those characters are portrayed in a positive light as independent business people respected in their community.

The puzzles were pretty hard, and I had to get help on a couple, especially on finding a bezoar. I played the game over about a week on and off. Most puzzles are 'find an item in one area and use it in a creative way in another'. A lot of the humor is in finding out what item actually solves to problem.

The implementation of the game is a big improvement over all past Karella games, but still has a couple of rough edges here and there. I had trouble finding the right words to use the dynamite, or to use a rope. Fortunately, the game itself will also include the right wording to use as a hint, and has other features designed to help with implementation.

We played part of this in the Seattle IF Meetup, where it seemed well-received, and I finished it on my own later.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A different farwest adventure., April 15, 2022

THE LEGEND OF THE HORSE GIRL

A game with western theme.
Last night, morning in USA we played this game in IFMUD.
This is a FULL LENGHT game. It will take to complete several hours.
It has several good puzzles in a consistent story about the evil and death in farwest.
The map you have to explore is medium size and obviously has some zones you canít enter untill you have completed some tasks.
The NPCs has long conversations through ask for, ask about, give an object and so on.
Finally I hope that some automatizated answers and a few misspellings will be corrected.
This is of course a big, good game that I can recommend you without any problem.

Jade.


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New walkthroughs for April 2022 by David Welbourn
On Thursday, April 28, 2022, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works...




This is version 2 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 29 April 2022 at 4:31am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item