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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: 6
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
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.
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