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Created for the Jay is Games - Casual Game Play Design Competition #7
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For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter with Blorb support - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Hoosegow

by Ben Collins-Sussman profile and Jack Welch profile

Western
2010

Web Site

(based on 37 ratings)
8 member reviews

About the Story

Muddy's plan done landed you and your partner in the hoosegow. Now you're fixing to rectificate the matter before the marshal introduces you to the business end of a hangin' rope at dawn.

Created for the JayIsGames Casual Game Play Competition #7.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Current Version: 16
License: Creative Commons
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
IFID: 27AA9418-5BCB-43DB-8FD7-DA363734D23A
TUID: p2bxy33newzb930t

Awards

Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2010 XYZZY Awards

1st Place - Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(6)
4 star:
(21)
3 star:
(9)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 8
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Old-fashioned fun with very good writing, February 20, 2011
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)

The most impressive aspect of Hoosegow is undoubtedly the writing: from the title (an Anglicisation of a Mexican-Spanish word for "jail") to the character's speech and the narration, the language is perfect for the Western atmosphere the authors set out to establish. (Spoiler - click to show)(The fact that the game is set in the period after the Civil War, while "hoosegow" was first found in English in 1908, is something the reader will either not notice or not care about.) Funny asides, believable interactions between the characters, physical situations described clearly, and as icing on the cake a set of hilarious episodes: everything works. Reading this game is a pleasure.

It puts you in the shoes, or rather the smelly boots, of a Civil War deserter turned train robber, whose partner Muddy has once again gotten them both into big trouble. You will have to escape from the local sheriff's cell before they hang you in the morning -- a time limit that is implemented, but that is so relaxed that I doubt anyone trying to solve the game will come up against it. Complementing the cast of characters are a drunken preacher who randomly bursts out in apocalyptic oratory, a sheriff with the ambition to become an inventor, a deputy sheriff with the ambition to imbibe a lot of alcohol, a nasty dog, and a well-meaning but strict marshal.

Hoosegow is not a very innovative game: you will spend your time solving puzzles that fit perfectly in the tradition of interactive fiction. (If your previous game was Rover's Day Out, you can afford to be a little traditional.) These puzzles are well-clued and not overly difficult, and some problems can be solved in more than one way. For those of us (including me) who nevertheless become slightly stuck and are not eager to spend a lot of time on these somewhat old-fashioned puzzles, there are very good in-game hints and a very helpful PDF-file with the basic structure of the puzzles. (Resize the window of your PDF-reader so that you only see the top of the page, then scroll down until you find something you have not solved yet.)

This game doesn't offer anything that will blow you away, but it does offer a lot that will give you pleasure. Recommended.


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
It ain't bad I recon, December 13, 2010
by Aintelligence (Canada)

I was pleasantly surprised by this adventure. Taking place in a jail called hoosegow, after you were arrested by the sheriff, the story is that you have to get out of the jailhouse before your hanging tomorrow.

This game, like a few others, has a real spin on the classic speech. In everything the characters did, "scruffy, unshaven, slippery, uneducated cowboys In tattered vests" were written all over them. The author used southern slang for just about everything from "that ain't no verb I got knowledge of" to " is you talking plain English?" which significantly added to the style and story of the game.

The story is not, however, a simple 'escape the room' sort of game in which the puzzles are simple, but these puzzles involve a lot of logic, thinking and a little bit of guess the verb. I would say the puzzles were mainly fair, but there were a few spots I got hung up on because the solution was slightly obscure. However, if you really think of the puzzles in a really 'cowboy' way, they should not be too hard. What was hard though, was the numerous places where you had to play guess the verb, or even worse, guess the noun. Some spots could really use some more real editing. It really took away from the gameplay, I think, because I would get stuck in places where advance was impossible without the magic verb.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Oklahoma outlaws., February 17, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Western

I'm normally not one for one room games, preferring to explore the wide plains and hills beyond the frontiers, but I enjoyed this game immensely.

Hoosegow is an escape-the-jailcell game set in the old West. The difficulty is just enough to keep one pleasantly engaged for an afternoon. The puzzles are original and mostly well clued. Some solutions can be found only by experimenting and examining everything. (And I mean everything.) Not only will you find some surprising and entertaining solutions, but you will also be rewarded for your thoroughness with lots and lots of funny responses. Once you get on the same wavelength as the game, start thinking in the same slightly off-kilter way as the author when writing it, the puzzles will start feeling natural.

The characters, both PC and NPCs, add a layer of comedy to the game that is its strongest point. Pastor Pete's ramblings, the deputy who'd rather spend his time with the "dancing girls" in the saloon, your idiot savant accomplice and the lazy jail dog., they all made me laugh at least once.

The characters (and the parser) talk in a heavy western hootin' tootin' accent. It stays just beneath the line. Any more would have been annoying, not to say incomprehensible. It stays funny as it is now though.

The game gives you the option of running away right after ecaping the cell, but of course you would rather stick around to clear your name with the Marshal like any upstanding citizen who happens to have been found with a bag full of silver next to a derailed train and been charged with trainrobbery just because of that. Yessir.

Near perfect in all aspects. Must play.


See All 8 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Hoosegow:

Trying to find a good comedy. by H. W. Wiliams
I'm hoping to find a good comedy IF title. I've been away for a while and want a good laugh before I head back to work. Any suggestions?

Looking for a good Western. by Bishopofbasic
Howdy everyone, I'm on the hunt for a good western text adventure or IF depending on how you call it. Something, that's quite fun to play. The year of release doesn't matter to me. Just looking for some great games to sink my teeth into....

games with great interactivity by nick love
I want a game with a great variety of interactiveness. I want it to be challenging but fun and comedic.

See all polls with votes for this game

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This is version 21 of this page, edited by Lance Campbell on 25 July 2021 at 8:52pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item