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About the Story
With a loud "click," the door closes behind you. Finally!
Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2019 XYZZY Awards
4th Place overall; 1st Place, Miss Congeniality - 25th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2019)
The Gaming Philosopher
Fun and educational puzzler, if somewhat disjointed
Let me stress that the game is a lot of fun. Enough fun that I came back to it after the competition and solved everything, with some help from the forum, ending up with a very respectable haul (though quite a bit short of the current high score). If you are interested in puzzle games, I absolutely recommend Sugarlawn. However, the game is also a bit of a disjointed affair.
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Number of Reviews: 7
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I beta tested this game, and I love it.
You play as a contestant on a reality show that apparently involves finding antiques while wearing a chicken suit (?).
You run around a mansion gathering items while a timer ticks down each turn. Some items are easy to find, while others require a great deal of ingenuity.
Knowledge is the key in this game, player knowledge and not character knowledge. You can learn secret codes that help you succeed. There are secret bonuses. On top of all of this, all of the items have an 'optimal placement location' that gives you even more money.
This game has more narrative than most shameless treasure hunts, and a lot of funny lines, but the focus here is on getting the best prize. Your host comments on your score each time, and you are able to replay as much as you want in-game, with it being interpreted as re-takes of the show.
Love it, think it's great, and I think people will be playing this one for years. I play IF for many reasons: love of stories, love of characters. This game satisfies my itch of 'take/drop/N/E/S/W', which is the same reason I love the original IF game Adventure.
This game takes about 30 minutes to finish the first time but hours to get a good score.
An absolute delightful treasure romp in the vein of Hollywood Hijinx (only with loads more charm), Sugarlawn had me simultaneously hooked yet a tad frustrated.
I do love a logical treasure hunt and a game show might be the most realistic modern raison d'etre for taking everything not nailed down. And because it's a game show it's clear from the beginning that replays will yield better results; thus, I was prepared for obsessive map-making and note-taking which I thoroughly enjoyed. What frustrated me is the nature of optimization puzzles. For a while I enjoyed finding shortcuts to improve my score, but after a while the diminishing returns were more exhausting than invigorating. For example, one way to improve optimization throughout your treasure hunt is to pick up or drop multiple items at the same time, which to me is more of a trick of the parser than a realistic strategy. So after four or five meticulous runs through the game I felt sated, despite several puzzles not yet being solved, because I knew even if I solved them I would never have the patience for peak optimization.
Despite this I wholeheartedly recommend playing it at least once, if for nothing but the fourth-wall breaking whimsy. It's always clear while playing that you're on camera (this fact is used for puzzle-design as well), and it's frequently played for laughs. If you regret a decision and type undo, a voice calls, "All right, we’ll just record over the last thing you did.” And I've always had a soft spot for New Orleans culture and history, and so I got to bathe in that to my heart's content.
In this game, you are participating in a reality TV show on the Sugarlawn Plantation. Your objective is to earn as much money you can within 30 minutes. You earn money by finding valuables and return with them to the foyer. Even better, if you can find out what the target location is of a valuable and put it there, you will get a bonus. In addition, you get a bonus if you manage to escape from the house. There is also mentioned a secret bonus. Bonuses will be doubled if you do not bring the sack to carry stuff. In other words, if you accept an inventory limit, your bonuses will be doubled. So this is a rare example of a game, where it makes good sense to have an inventory limit, since it makes the game harder but you earn more points.
This game has a lot of original puzzles it seems. The fundamental gameplay is quite similar to Ryan Veeder's "Captain Verdeterre's Plunder", which isn't a bad thing. This game is however bigger and some of the puzzles are harder. In both games you need to optimize your playthrough to earn as much money you can, which is hard, since there isn't time to get all valuables and bonuses. I like both games very much.
This game has a lot of humor in it, and it is very well implemented. Within the two hour limit I kept increasing my score, and I feel quite addicted. I hope there will be an online high score list at some point, which is the case for "Captain Verdeterre's Plunder". Such competition would give the player an incentive to keep improving. As it is now, you are mainly playing against yourself, which is also fun but could be even more fun with a high score list. Anyway, this is a very fun game I highly recommend.
|The Curse of the Scarab, by Nils Fagerburg|
Average member rating: (9 ratings)
Archeology licenses are for suckers, not for Rhoda Tarcrew. But now the authorities are closing in and there's only time for one last dig before you have to flee the country. Better make it count.
The Spooky Mansion, by Tim Jacobs
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
On a walk late one evening, your dog bolts onto the grounds of the old, haunted mansion on the outskirts of town. It is up to you to brave the spooky mansion and all of its ghoulish denizens and find your lost dog before it's too late!...
Better than Alone, by willitchio
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
Better than Alone is an interactive novella about repetition and death. It is set in the midst of Melbourne's 2020 lockdown. Your name is Lottie Gill-Soren. You care for Carl Quincy Durrant. And the house he lives in is haunted. The...
2020 Alternative Top 100 by Denk
(Created 24-Jul-2020) Philosophy: 1. If a game only has 5-star ratings, it is because the game hasn't received enough ratings. 2. Games with few ratings can still be among the best. 3. Sometimes the average score is the best metric. The...
Maintained Hall of Fame / High score list by Denk
Maintained Hall of Fame or high score list is a great idea. Let's list those games where a maintained hall of fame/high score list is accessible, either within the game or online.
Best parser games since 2017 by Rovarsson
When browsing for good recent games, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of Twine and Choice games. Add to that a great number of games with five stars and only one rating, many of which are also, yes, Twine and Choice games, it gets difficult...
Games where the player must draw their own map by Paxton
Ideally these are games whose puzzles/challenges involve the map in some way (hidden connections, layout analysis, &c.) and aren't just games which could be mapped. I'm especially interested in games which use the action of drawing the...