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About the Story
Your true love certainly has an eclectic wish list of Christmas gifts. Can you get all of them ready tonight?
Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Adventuron
11th place - Adventuron Christmas Jam
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Back in college, chain email jokes had started to be a thing. There was one Christmas joke about the twelve days of Christmas where, in fact, someone does get his true love the twelve gifts, and she winds up sending him a restraining order. From what I knew, nobody ever really liked that song anyway! So there was a bit of schadenfreude and a sense it might be overdone if it lasted for the length of, say, an Advent calendar.
12D lasts about the right amount of time, too. Anyone acquainted with the song will know what to do. There is a question of how. You have a bunch of gifts, not quite twelve, in your storage closet. You need to dump them in the room with the Christmas tree to the east. There's also a kitchen east of that. You have an inventory limit of three, as well. This is rather clever. It prevents brute force solving, and what's more, you have a list of gifts on your cell phone. So in case you forget what you have left or can do, you can read it. And, of course, if you haven't, you can drop it and have a bit more freedom to shuffle items to get everything in place. 12D gets a lot of mileage out of its only mechanic, which is that DROPping something makes you act on it unusually. This is most useful in the kitchen.
How 12D winds down is mechanically effective, as with each present you get in place (it is there in rainbow text,) there are fewer possibilities for your next wrong guess, and you may have a lightbulb go off. And if you place something in the present room before you're ready, there's some explanation why it doesn't quite fit. For instance, one of the three birds you need will fly away because your tree is not decorated properly. This is a good introductory puzzle, but you don't have to start with it. Some presents do rely on others finishing first, and it's all pretty logical. There's also a good deal of cluing when you wind up with, say, six of an item.
You'll also have to notice some puns or double meanings of words, which are kind of cute. There's even myrrh, too, and years after seeing The Life of Brian, an occasional "just what is myrrh, anyway" joke works well, even though I know danged well what myrrh is. None of the jokes bring down the house, and they don't need to, because they're quite effective all told and the sort of thing you need when you're slightly flustered trying to get presents organized.
So what feels like just schelpping items about is a good deal more sophisticated than that. There will probably be one present that you don't get at first, or something you DROP may do something by accident, and you have the a-ha moment.
That 12D placed next-to-last in the Adventuron 2020 Christmas comp and yet has over four stars on IFDB as of January 2023 is a strong indication that there's a lot of other stuff to look at. (I haven't much, yet, but I plan to!) If you are in the mood for a short game that gives bumpers but not outright spoilers and maybe could leaves you less annoyed at that one Christmas song (I was after playing,) it's very nice indeed.
This game was entered in the Adventuron Christmas game jam.
One of Adventuron's weaknesses is its parser, which, while strong, hasn't caught up to Inform, Dialog and TADS. This game neatly sidesteps that by making it a limited parser game, with the only commands being TAKE, DROP, EXAMINE, and LOOK.
There are only three rooms: a 'hub' room with a Christmas tree, a storage room containing almost all the gifts (including lords and ladies anxiously waiting around), and a kitchen with materials.
The entirety of the interactivity is picking up one item and dropping it in the right spot, hoping it interacts right. Technically, you could just take everything and dump it together (and I admit I took that course occasionally), but it's too tedious to do that without trying to analyze that ahead of time, especially since you have a carrying limit of 3 items (one of the few games where I think that limit enhances gameplay).
The rainbow colors and sound cues were nice.
+Polish: The game is polished;
+Descriptiveness: The descriptions of the gifts is fairly amusing
+Interactivity: This particular setup worked for me
+Emotional impact: It was heart-warming
-Would I play again? It was fun, but was a bit too long for the main gimmick for me.
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