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The Magic Word

by B.J. Best profile


Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story


A fiendishly difficult limited-verb puzzle box.

Created for SeedComp '23, based on a seed by Rovarsson.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: February 26, 2023
Current Version: 1
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: 2FC88F03-9063-4D75-AF57-9070EE6429C3
TUID: tw2r89v2i7x7pli2


1st Place, Best Puzzle; Entrant, All Games - SeedComp! - 2023


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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Maddening puzzles personified, March 31, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

This game really hit me in a weird spot because it coincided with an idea of mine in an amusing way.

In my own game, I wanted to come up with something to 'scare' the player, a horrible device so terrible that every player would run in fear, only for it to turn out to be a joke that can be solved in one move.

My device was called 'hideous contraption' and had random dice, twenty six levers, 8 strings corresponding to elements, Towers of hanoi, goat and cabbage, etc.

But it was all a joke.

This game is just like that. But not a joke. The most horrifying thing I could think of a game having, that's what this game is.

After a brief intro, you find yourself in a room with two switches, fives lamps, rope, a ladder that is movable, an exit, a chandelier, a button, a fitting, a track with fire on it, moveable scales, an egg timer, etc.

You have to manipulate all of these devices, plus far more. Oh, and your verbs are extremely limited to 2 or 3 at a time. Oh, and there's a turn limit. Multiple ones, in fact.

I just refused to play it. Hints wouldn't give the full experience for this game, and I just frankly didn't want to play this type of game. I like games where you don't need to take notes, just learning over time.

I said as much to Mike Russo, a tester of this game, and he said it wasn't that bad.

I drew a very extensive diagram of this game, took careful notes, and got 4 or 5 points by being careful and a sixth point by dumb luck. At that point I looked at the hints.

I don't like this game style and don't want to see games like this in the future, but that's my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the general populace, and should not be an impediment to future games in this genre. However, I do recognize the craft and polish that went into the game, and the storytelling is exquisitely good given the circumstances.

If you enjoyed The Magic Word...

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Games Centered Around Devices/Machines by Amanda Walker
I'm looking for games that heavily feature learning how to use a device or machine. For instance, the machine in Emily Short's Savoir-Faire, Art DiBianca's devices in the Grandma Bethlinda games, or the box in Paul Michael Winters's The...

This is version 4 of this page, edited by David Kinder on 6 March 2023 at 7:57pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item