Grandma Bethlinda's Variety Box

by Arthur DiBianca profile


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Number of Ratings: 33
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- mg51, November 2, 2021

- aaachenb, October 5, 2021

- TheBoxThinker, January 25, 2021

- kierlani, July 4, 2020

- Edo, June 23, 2020

- IanAllenBird, December 14, 2019

- Stian, May 15, 2019

- Zape, March 24, 2019

- elias67, March 12, 2019

- wisprabbit (Sheffield, UK), August 24, 2018

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Absolutely Loved This, July 14, 2018
by Whystler
Related reviews: dibianca minimalist

This is exactly the kind of experience I was looking for. A delightful play through. An interesting and quirky performance. Press this; turn that; tap; pull; hear things in your head; have a giggle and even a snack; experience a variety of mechanical machinations; test yourself with a puzzles. All of this done with two commands - so much functionality and theatrical entertainment with no need for a lexicon of word guessing. Thank you sir!

- play_all_day, June 14, 2018

- IFforL2 (Chiayi, Taiwan), May 7, 2018

- Stas, April 5, 2018

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A Puzzle Box Well Worth Solving!, February 24, 2018

Arthur DiBianca; quirky, imaginative, witty, innovative, minimalistic (in the sense of the interactiveness if not of the writing). The philosophy presented here, as far as IF design is concerned, seems to be "less is more"; and he makes a strong case for it. As streamlined as ever, his three verb interface (x,u,z) makes for a straightforward, frustration-less experience (aside from forgetting and actually trying to use a traditional verb). This is DiBianca merely hinting at the scope of his design space and world-building capabilities. While a few of his signature puzzles are sure to delight most IF fans, solving this puzzle box does provide a bit of tedium towards the end. Even still, I was able to solve the box without a considerable amount of trouble, and without needing to consult the walkthrough (that's always a good thing).
With that said, I'd be torn between giving this a 6 or a 7 in the Comp, so 3.5 stars here would be nice if it were possible. I guess my bias toward his inventive, unique style will have to dictate a four then, even though DiBianca's more recent entries are sure to impress to an even greater extent!

- nosferatu, January 18, 2018

- Guenni (At home), January 6, 2018

- Spike, November 9, 2017

- ifMUD_Olly (Montana, USA), April 21, 2017

- Robin Johnson (Edinburgh, Scotland), November 30, 2016

- EJ, August 12, 2016

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Made me exclaim aloud in wonder, June 25, 2016
by Danielle (The Wild West)

Haven't finished this game yet, but I keep laughing aloud and clapping with delight as I play with it, so I'mma give it five stars.

Others have noted how well-written it is. Being a writer myself, I marvel at the craftsmanship! Writing clear descriptions is a hard trick for some of us to pull off, but the writing in GBVB's practically invisible, a window into the world of the box. Add in the ingenious use of "U" and you get all the delights of physical puzzle-solving minus the annoying fiddly bits.

In short, this game is the philosophical opposite of Hard Puzzle.

- Doug Orleans (Somerville, MA, USA), May 20, 2016

- Sobol (Russia), March 26, 2016

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A 3-verb minimalist parser game about a fun-filled puzzle cube, February 3, 2016

This minimalist parser game feels like it learned a lot from the success of Twine games, and responded by making a stripped-down straightforward puzzle box. I really liked it.

The box has different moving parts you have to interact with (using the single command U for USE or UNDERTAKE TO INTERACT WITH, according to the author). As you do, more and more pieces show up. You are taught how to use some pieces that you have to remember later; other puzzles require leaps of intuition or timing. I finished without hints, which is very unusual for me.

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