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The Familiar

by groggydog profile

Fantasy
2023

Web Site

(based on 10 ratings)
4 reviews

About the Story

You are a witch's crow familiar, headstrong as anything but still young and untested.

What starts as a normal day soon takes a harrowing turn when your pacific caretaker, Valmai, is struck down by a terrible hex of mysterious origin. Now it's up to you, little bird, to cure your caretaker and discover the hex's source.

Are you up for the task?

(This is a parser game designed for beginners, and features a limited vocabulary.)


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 5, 2023
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Adventuron
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: qjdenq5271yvbmo7

Awards

Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2023

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Member Reviews

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


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Flu? Walnut-and-puffball soup!, April 27, 2023
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

(This review is based on the Spring Thing 2023 comp version.)

Such a warm and homely starting situation! Your witch is feeling a bit under the weather. How better to help her than to brew a cauldron of heartening medicinal soup?

Soon, though, it becomes apparent that something darker than a simple cold is amiss. Your mistress has been hexed, and sheís going to need something a bit more potent than hot soup.

Fran the crow is a lovely protagonist. Even though her ability to express herself verbally is limited to CAW, her kind-heartedness shines through in all her actions, and in her thoughts as they are relegated to the player through the authorís empathic penmanship.

As enthusiastic and full of life Fran is, even in these dire times, so is the authorís writing. Eager to share the wonders of this world, be they light or dark. From the cosy cabin to the oppressive vine-tangled forest, from the stately Opera House to the cute girl in the window, the joy of inviting the reader into this world sparkles on the screen.

You have been flying through the western forest as dawn begins to extend its frilly tendrils across the sky, and warm late-summer winds filter through your feathers. Streaks of green and yellow paint the landscape with fresh vibrancy.

Sometimes itís a bit too enthousiastic, to the point of near-selfcombustion:

ďThe mammoth governmental building looms ahead, its single golden clocktower eye and teeth-like arches looking more bestial than ever.Ē

A simple but delicately drawn map with just enough twists and turns in the path to feel organic guides you through the forest to the city of Gennemont, where the nub of the adventure lies.

One particular puzzle-and-narrative sequence here is so heartwarming Iíd have gladly played the game for the joy of it alone. ((Spoiler - click to show)The girl in the window's love-letter.)
Being aimed at beginners, the puzzles are quite simple. Most hinge on winning the trust of a human. The wing-and-beak gesturing CAW-ing conversations this entails are rich, the characters are people in their own right, and it gave a a real sense of connection to bond with them on a deeper level than just carrying out their associated fetch-quest.

During these conversations, and through the limited memories and understanding Fran has of the goings-on in the wider world, we learn of the broader circumstances in which the story plays. A war is going on between the powerful factions of the setting, and it reaches down to influence even the lives of Fran and the other characters.

The entire tale is enlightened but not overshadowed by moody grey-blue pixel graphics, emphasising the atmosphere of the text-descriptions.

At the end, the author hearkens back to an early meeting in an almost fairy-tale fashion, bringing the story around to a satisfying close.

I came across a few bugs and sent reports of them to the author. Iím confident those will be squashed in a following update. Nothing that should hinder the enjoyment, perhaps even providing an extra laugh or two.

A very warm and inviting game.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Delightful fantasy-themed illustrated parser game, May 16, 2023
by Vivienne Dunstan (Dundee, Scotland)

This was a delightful parser game, where you, a witchís crow familiar, have to save your mistress. Thereís a light touch to the writing, and itís friendly to beginner parser players. The reduced parser helps, though I struggled with it in a few places. The fantasy worldbuilding is strong, and a series of fetch quests takes you through the story, plus extremely well written and nicely implemented conversations with various characters. Things got really frightening at times. In a good way. Iím still feeling relieved that I got a good ending and not a bad one as things played out! I was also grateful to the author for including a walkthrough (two versions). Oh and the artwork throughout is gorgeous.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A sweet story about a familiar crow saving its witch mistress, May 7, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is an Adventuron game with some good pixel art and intended for beginners.

Your mistress, a witch, has been hexed by a wizard, and you have to help her! To do so, though, you'll have to go through strange lands, frightening areas, and combat.

The setting is reminiscent of Howl's Moving Castle, an industrial area town where magic is common and regulated in a guild while a war drags on in the background.

There are multiple characters with distinct personalities and the puzzles and quests are varied and interesting. On those few occasions were I got stuck, the HELP command listed all possible verbs and talking with people gave gentle nudges.

It appears there is a secret ending, but I did not feel a need to go back and replay.

Great for a beginner or for an experienced player who just wants to play a chill game. Doesn't feel kid-oriented but is appropriate for kids.


See All 4 Member Reviews

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