In Good Company

by A.M.


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Number of Reviews: 8
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Cute but buggy, January 3, 2017

This is a cute puzzle game, but there are a number of bugs in its implementation that detracted from my enjoyment of the game so much that, by the end, I resorted to just following the hints.

1) Almost every room has important objects in it that are not visible in the initial room description, forcing the player to examine everything in every room. That's fine in so far as it goes, but in that case the game needs to Bracket Every Notable Thing to ensure that objects in the description are actually examinable.

When examination of scenery objects failed at first, I gave up on examining scenery objects, which then got me solidly stuck.

2) There are parser bugs, e.g. right in the first room, there's no way to examine the right fireplace.

>x right fireplace
I only understood you as far as wanting to examine the right overmantel.

You also can't examine important objects like: (Spoiler - click to show)"puzzle" in the office ("crossword" works), "resin" in the studio (you can only directly refer to the cans, so you can't "pour resin in mould"), "controls" in the lab. You also can't examine the "statue" on the bookcase in the Sitting Room until you examine "oddments" (most of which cannot be examined), even if you examine the bookcase.

3) Flipping switches is totally buggy.

>flip switch a1
You flip on Switch A1 on. It makes a satisfying "ca-CLING"!

>flip switch a1
You flip on Switch A1 on. It makes a satisfying "ca-CLING"!

>flip switch a1
You flip on Switch A1 on. It makes a satisfying "ca-CLING"!

>flip switch a1 on
You can't see any such thing.

>flip switch a1 off
You flip off Switch A1. It makes a satisfying "ka-CHUNK"!

>flip switch a1 on
You flip on Switch A1 on. It makes a satisfying "ca-CLING"!

If the user doesn't explicitly say "off," the game assumes that "flip" means to flip ON, and then shows a "ca-CLING" message even if the switch is already on. I incorrectly thought I was flipping the switches correctly and that the switches did nothing until I realized the problem.

4) (Spoiler - click to show)The controls in the lab are not correctly described in the text.

>x cage
At first glance, the cage appears to be quite ordinary, if old-fashioned, but on closer inspection, you realize that it does not appear to have any sort of door or access hatch.

>x dish
The small kibble dish is attached to the outside of the cage by way of a motorized hinge, which you presume is operated with the tiny controls inside the cage.

>x controls
You can't see any such thing.

IMO, this ruins the hamster puzzle. The player has to realize that the controls correspond to controls in the utility room, but since the game never describes the hamster's controls directly, the only way to solve this puzzle is to hit the hints.

Those are my most serious complaints. Other minor bugs follow:

5) (Spoiler - click to show)
>get a tile
(tile Z)

You have to "get tile a" instead.

6) (Spoiler - click to show)I don't know why the game lets me stand on a stepstool to reach the skull but won't let me stand on the bar to reach the skull. Maybe use a stepladder instead?

7) (Spoiler - click to show)The game won't let me handle the resin while wearing the respirator unless I'm also wearing the latex gloves. But it gives the same message as if I wasn't even wearing the respirator, "Safety first!" It made me think I had to turn on the respirator in some way. Instead it should tell me that my hands aren't protected or something.

8) (Spoiler - click to show)
>close ledger
You close the tall ledger book, which makes a "THUD" the way only proper big books can. Beneath it, you discover a small, empty-looking jar.

>open ledger
It isn't something you can open.

9) Finally, I feel like the hints aren't structured very naturally.

(Spoiler - click to show)
Why can I not leave? Considering that you start in a locked room, this should be explaining how to find the west exit.
Should I be interested in the walls here? "Yes!" A misleading answer for anyone who's not a subscriber.

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