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About the Story
When he fears that a reclusive neighbor’s weird ministrations are leading the locals astray, an old cowboy takes it upon himself to amble back up to Hill Ridge and set things a-right.
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2016
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: TADS
Forgiveness Rating: Nasty
The Breakfast Review
I got pretty interested in solving the puzzles to move the story along. I believe that personality and character of the setting was a big part of what kept me interested; I think it might be as well that the puzzles often seemed just clear enough that you could guess what to do next, and just hard enough to make it a challenge.
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Number of Reviews: 2
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In last year's comp, Jeremy Pflasterer gave us Koustrea's Contentment, an intriguing, atmospheric, very large, and somewhat underclued game that initially lacked a walkthrough, leading a lot of players to give up on it. This year, Pflasterer has submitted Hill Ridge Lost & Found, which is similarly intriguing, atmospheric, and still a little underclued, but also about the right length for the comp. And the walkthrough, thankfully, appeared much earlier (though not on day one).
Hill Ridge is an off-kilter modern western, mixing familiar tropes with alien but relatable elements. We're the Ambler, an old cowboy gone to discover the fate of a long-unseen neighbor. Like with Koustrea's Contentment, proper names are all askew -- there's a Langle Olk and a Mrs. Vumfarr, and the missing neighbor is Lonon. There are cows and barns, but also jiller vines and vorairs, huge temperamental armadillos. The weirdness is pleasingly low-key, and the writing is understated and effective:
It's not good to sit still with suspicion. Better to carry it somewhere, quick and careful. But it ended up being somewhat late in the day that Sunday when you set out, after all manner of procrastination had run its course. And that, for you, was unusual.
This mid-length TADS game has a strong writing style and uses various colors. It has unique, alien world-building and an interesting map.
It also has puzzles that can be hard to guess. Using the walkthrough is fun, though, to get the whole story. There is one strong profanity, for no real reason, but it won't happen if you follow the walthrough.
I really enjoyed the setting and backstory here, it really is unique.
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