Winter Wonderland

by Laura Knauth

Children's/Fantasy/Seasonal
1999

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(7)
4 star:
(19)
3 star:
(14)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 9
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1-9 of 9


1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Wonderful atmosphere, October 29, 2021

This game is worth playing for its a magical winter atmosphere, preferably on a cold and dreary winter evening. As for the puzzles and the rest, I only remember needing to use hints and getting lost a lot.


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A joyous Winter Solstice!, August 20, 2021
by Rovarsson (Belgium)
Related reviews: Fantasy, Puzzler

While walking home after doing an errand in town, little Gretchen is blown off the path by a sudden snowstorm. She finds herself in a wondrous snowy land under a pale wintery moon.

Winter Wonderland is a heartwarming text-adventure. The wonder and amazement at the beautiful fairytale land is played completely straight, without ironic winks or nudges. It's clear that the author has gone to great lengths to envelop the player in a sincere and heartfelt warm and joyful experience.

The immersion in the story and the game-world is achieved in a few ways.
The implementation goes deep enough that you can examine and interact with most pieces of the surroundings, many giving an extra immersive dimension to the already evocative descriptions.
You will meet many fantastic creatures, all enjoying the winter solstice in their own festive manner. All of them will smile and acknowledge you when you greet them. You can strike up a conversation with a good deal of them.
The map is easily visualized, with the dense forest where little Gretchen appeared to the south and the snow-capped mountains so far to the north that they appear as unreachable bluish shapes far to the north. Still, there are enough little sidepaths and bottlenecks to keep it interesting.

Allthough the puzzles are mostly friendly and easy, fetching an object for an NPC to exchange it for the next item. Most of these puzzles do have an intermediary step that is not so obvious, making solving them satisfying. Two puzzles jumped out as being especially nifty, requiring a bit of thinking around the corner. These raised my appreciation for the puzzles and the game as a whole.

A very smooth, warm and friendly playing-experience. Perhaps best enjoyed with a steaming mug of cocoa and a snuggle-blanket.


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
great game!, January 27, 2021
by jlvp1234 ( United States )

this is a great game, I started playing it in 2010, I usually try to follow david Wilburn's walkthroughs, however, he has not made one for this particular game, it took me 10 years to complete this game. overall, it's still a pretty great game.


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Wonderful Diversion, September 17, 2020

We were taken in by the humanity of the story. Got frustrated a bit from time to time, because things that we tried didn't work but the magical world can bring a smile to one's face nevertheless.

It seemed like a good pleasant wholesome counterbalance in the midst of all the bad news during the COVID-19 crisis -- to get away from a troubled and tense world into a light-hearted playful one.

Although we had to resort to the hints at times we felt victorious when we finished the story. It's nice to work through a puzzle and then be rewarded with a lively and magical setting.

It's interesting that although Gretchen needs to take things and sneak a bit she also needs to give things to others without them asking in order to make progress. This goes along with the holiday theme.

Note: At the end of the game there is some text included about contacting the author; however, the email address is no longer valid, and although we sent a message via her blog and also on Flickr we didn't get any response. The last posts on the blog along with the photos on Flickr are from April of 2014, so it's possible that she decided to disengage from social media at that time. The game was written about twenty years ago, and so at this point in time perhaps she isn't receiving feedback on it any more. We were just trying to contact her to let her know how we liked her game.


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very clever puzzles in a heartwarming Christmas story., February 3, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

Many people seem put off by the homey charm of this Christmas game, perhaps more interested in gore or adult content. But this ASCII-art using winter game is deep and well-polished, and on the longer end for an IFComp game. It won the comp for a good reason.

First, it is beautiful. Visually, the ASCII art and color scheme help the immersion (I loved the snowflakes in the status bar). And the descriptions and responses of the text are all well-crafted and contribute to the atmosphere significantly.

Second, the puzzles are ingenious, though some reasonable alternatives are not implemented. The majority of the game centers on magical creatures, and working with them. NPC interaction is present, though limited, as is usual in games of this time period.

The story starts out extraordinarily over sweetly, but I enjoyed it, and it soon became a magic-themed puzzle fest. This game drew me in, and I would love to see more games with a fun family atmosphere instead of gritty dystopias or gruesome underground labs.


2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Fantastic Kids Game, October 19, 2011
by Sparky901
Related reviews: kids

This is a wonderful text based game that I enjoyed immensely and now have my kids playing as well. It is fun, text based game that the whole family will enjoy about a child (you) that is worried about her ailing brother and your quest to go into town for a holiday tree candle. You have to find your way to town and your way back home. Absolutely charming!


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
A slightly over-rated puzzle-fest, September 5, 2008
by madducks (Indianapolis, Indiana)

I never understood how "Winter Wonderland" got first place in '99. For a puzzle-piece it does have it's charm, and it is very well implemented, but I found the map flat, and mostly just unsatisfying, the character interactions were shallow and grating. The treacle story and prose have been commented on in other reviews, and indeed, it only exasperated my distaste for this one.

This might be of interest to puzzle aficionados and children, but probably too difficult for the latter and bit ordinary for the former.


5 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Charming and enjoyable tale for the child (in you), September 2, 2008
by Xiao Z. Jia (Ottawa, Canada)

This is an immensely enjoyable game. I played it a few years ago but I still remember how much charm it had.

The game's definitely not very hard (remember, pencil and paper is your friend if you get confused). but it should not harm your experience if you resort to the hint system when you're stuck because the best thing about it is the magical atmosphere and charming setting (unless you're a puzzle nut, but in that case you wouldn't consider the hints anyways).

When I first tried it I half-expected to be bored by some generic children's storyline but it definitely transform the ordinary (theme, settings, characters and story can't be said to be really that original) into the extraordinary (charming and enjoyable). It does not try anything radical, but for what it aims to be it works very very well - telling a children's tale that appeals to the inner child in adults as well.

It is a great game to settle down with and bring a smile to your face.


2 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Near perfect puzzles, March 20, 2008
by NiMuSi (London, UK)

This is definitely the best non-cmmercial IF game I have played.

The writing is evocative and the puzzles are perfectly matched to the theme of the story. None of the puzzles are very difficult but neither are they completely straightforward. I consider only one puzzle to be slightly unfair - (Spoiler - click to show)the icefloes. I knew what I wanted to do but the location descriptions were a tad unclear, and I had to eventually consult the walkthrough for this. If it had not been for that I might have awarded 5 stars.



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