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by David Welbourn
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The King's Ball

by Garry Francis profile


Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Every year, the king holds an extravagant ball where he invites all the local dignitaries and they lavish him with gifts. The king sells some of these gifts after the ball and uses the money to fund the ball the following year. More importantly, he also gifts some of the money to enterprising craftsmen, tradesmen and other small businesses to help them establish or improve their business. It's a very generous incentive and is very popular with the people, as all honest, hard-working people have a chance to gain the king's favour.

If you're not a dignitary, but you've been invited to the king's ball, then there's a fair chance that you'll have a chance to present your business proposal to the king and maybe get some funding.

You're the local baker. You work long hours making and selling wheat, barley and rye breads. How boring. You dream of making sweet pastries, fruit cakes, gingerbread and other delectable things that you know would be popular, but you don't have enough time or resources to diversify. You need to get some funding from the king, so that you can hire a couple of apprentices, expand your shop and install some new ovens. There's just one problem. You haven't been invited to the ball.

You come up with an ingenious plan. You've baked the most gorgeous fruit cake. If you can get into the palace and present your plans (and your cake) to the king, you're sure he would provide you with the funding you need.

You leave the cake in the shop and set off to see if you can find a way into the palace. It looks easy enough. All you have to do is get past that guard.

Game Details


Entrant, All Games - SeedComp! - 2023


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A short puzzle-heavy game about sneaking into the King's Ball, March 24, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This game has you as a humble baker who has a chance of a lifetime: a sponsorship from a King. If only you can get into the ball!

The game has a few major puzzles, the first being getting past the guard, and the second involving hygiene.

The puzzles were a little tricky; the first one was hard to guess what method to use until it was revealed all at once by an item, and the second required careful examination of numerous objects.

Overall, it's a fine game, but it had a little more unimplemented scenery than I expected, like the bread in the shop or the fence in one of the back rooms.

Overall, a pleasant experience.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Let the King eat Cake, March 9, 2023
by Rovarsson (Belgium)

(This review is for the competition version. I expect any small hairs will be removed from the buttery patisserie in an updated version.)

A cake so sumptuous the meagre word “cake” does not do it justice. A fruitcake so stuffed with raisins and nuts and confectioneries of all kinds, so soaked in the finest cognac, a Royal Fruitcake, if you will.

A cake fit for a King.

And that is precisely why you would have the King himself partake of this masterpiece, and humbly implore him to fund your expedition into the secrets of even more delicious Patisserie. If only that stubborn guard would let you through.

A game which starts with a seemingly simple premise, present a cake to the King, and builds on it, complicates and layers it until it becomes a hilarious obstacle-filled endeavour.

A small map with enough twists and bends to make it interesting, and a few locked off locations that take more than a bit of ingenuity and perseverance to get into.

The puzzles are heavily clued. A bit too much for my taste. At least, that’s what I thought at first. I realised though, that trimming back the generous clues and hints would also dampen the slap-stick farcical mood.

There are a bunch of bugs to be found in the SeedComp version. Indeed, part of my enjoyment came from chasing them down and thinking of new ways to exploit them to fool the game and create little funny scenes of my own making. The game is strong enough under the hood so that the bugs become more something you might find in the “Amusing”-section after finishing an adventure.

“Have you tried…”

Mind you, the bugs are naught but a small raisin in this wonderful fruitcake of a game. The tone is continuously funny, not (only) by cracking jokes but by the aforementioned layering of complications. The main NPC is a funny bloke to mess with, and the reactions of the unnamed townsfolk are a real treat.

Great fun. I laughed at my screen several times. Somewhat straining on my suspension of disbelief at times. Great puzzle collection.

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Short parser game with easy puzzles (mostly), March 30, 2023
by Denk
Related reviews: PunyInform, Inform

This is a puzzly parser game very much in Garry Francis' usual style. You must cheat your way into the King's Ball as that would be great for your bakery business. The game is fairly small, around 15 locations, and well implemented which we have come to expect from Garry Francis despite a few uncritical bugs. I played the z5-version where undo was available.

Parser: 8/10
PunyInform games usually have a good parser. This game is no exception.

Atmosphere: 8/10
Terse but sufficient which is very fine for a game like this.

Cruelty rating: Merciful
I don't think you can bring yourself in an unwinnable situation in this game.

Puzzles: 7/10
Most are easy, except one detail which was tricky but still fair. However, you must examine EVERYTHING like many old school adventures, not just the most obvious objects in a location. Many modern players may not be used to this. Typing HINT will also tell you this.

Overall: 7/10
A fun game with some okay puzzles.

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The King's Ball on IFDB

Recommended Lists

The King's Ball appears in the following Recommended Lists:

New walkthroughs for March 2023 by David Welbourn
On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, 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...


The following polls include votes for The King's Ball:

Outstanding Inform 6 Game of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best Inform 6 game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Eligible...

Outstanding PunyInform Game of 2023 by MathBrush
This poll is part of the 2023 IFDB Awards. The rules for the competition can be found here, and a list of all categories can be found here. This award is for the best PunyInform game of 2023. Voting is open to all IFDB members. Eligible...

This is version 8 of this page, edited by Garry Francis on 11 October 2023 at 11:14am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page