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About the Story
Build a sandcastle & find decorations for it!
6th place - Text Adventure Literacy Jam
Number of Reviews: 3
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With games featuring youth I'm always a bit worried that there will be nostalgia-pandering, but this game left my worries baseless. It doesn't try to be too cute, it deals with limits seamlessly, and it uses Adventuron's features quite well.
You're a kid who needs to decorate a sandcastle you helped your father build. Which doesn't sound too hard, and it isn't. Your father gives you a map of the beach to start, and you canít go too far away from your parents. That helps keep the game small, so you donít have to go wandering off anywhere. Which makes sense. Your parents wouldn't like that. Also, nicely, two of the map squares are inaccessible: some water is reserved for fishing, some for boats. This certainly brought back memories of places I couldn't go on the beach and made them a bit more fun.
The treasures arenít terribly tricky to find, or valuable, but you would find them at the beach, and you would enjoy them as a kid, an the rainbow text sort of reenforces that--as an adult, I wondered if it was really necessary. It wasn't, but it made the game that much more enjoyable. But the game's not just simply about fun at the beach.
It also touches on things a kid doesn't know and won't realize until later. It winks at the older player. Not too sly for its own good, but a bit of thought fills in some things I might not have recognized when younger.
Once the father built the sandcastle, the kid may not realize parents need and want time to themselves. But there might not always be friends to hang with. So after helping his kid build a sandcastle, the father sends them out on a small fetching expedition to keep him entertained. There's another kid to sort of make friends with and a few older people to help along the way. Which keeps a day out fun for the kid.
Well, for the kid AND for me. And probably you, too. And you don't even have to pack up the car or suffer through traffic to enjoy it.
A really pleasant, relaxing experience. Soothing background music, a calming yellow and blue colour palette, a seaside ambience that is just what the doctor ordered coming out of this season's "long cold lonely winter". You're a kid having a day out on the beach, looking for five treasures to complete your sandcastle. The map is a 9x9 grid, impossible to get lost, and the puzzles are really easy and frustration-free. I would say the target age is two years below that of the equally excellent Reflections from this Text Adventure Literacy Jam competition. But whatever age you are, fire this up for a meditative ten minute break in the sand and sea.
Someone's been talking on the IF forums recently about games that don't have involved puzzles or deep narratives, and I think this is a good example of how to make a successful game without worrying too much about these things.
This is a small adventuron game with a compact, 3x3 map. There is pleasant music, pixel art with lots of abstract triangular textures, reactive NPCs, a variety in types of interaction, and some fun responses to player actions.
It's a simple game, designed for the text adventure literacy project, and I think it's done really way. I don't think it has much in the way of replay value, but other than that it is a rewarding and fun short game.
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