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About the Story
You play as a woman driving a moving van across the United States to her new job as New York City's Assistant to the Chief Engineer. Your gas runs out when you arrive at Chewton, Arizona which is having its 40th annual rock festival, and they don't mean music. They're celebrating actual rocks. And you spent your last money on tacos. How are you going to get out of here?
Nominee, Best Puzzles; Nominee, Best NPCs - 1997 XYZZY Awards
While driving across the country, you become stuck behind an immobilized parade in a geologically-obsessed town in the middle of Arizona. Smallish, silly, and well-detailed, with many easter eggs and good background noise. Some people have complained about a certain surprise late in the game, but I enjoyed the way it shook up my assumptions.
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
Everybody Loves a Parade manages a difficult feat: it's an enjoyable and rewarding game in its own right, whose puzzles take real thought, but it also essays an important innovation in IF playing style and carries it off brilliantly.
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There was a lot going on and a host of interesting and annoying characters to be studied. However, I slowly began to lose interest because some of the puzzles were too obscure for me. I am not saying it is a bad game, on the contrary, "Parade" is well put together, the text well written and the locations are believable, if a little unusual.
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The intro to Everybody Loves a Parade sets you up for a fast and funny ride. The game itself does not disappoint. It picks up the joke ball where it landed and runs with it. Fast.
You are a female engineer (the female part becomes important near the end of the game) hauling all your stuff coast to coast through the U.S. of A in a moving van on your way to a new job in New York. Although you had written a warning against driving through Arizona all over your roadmap, this is exactly where you end up: in a small town in the middle of the Arizona desert. Where they are having a parade. And one of the floats, a pickup truck full of pebbles, broke down. Up to you to get the parade and yourself moving again.
(About those pebbles, the people of this town seem to have a very peculiar and unexplained obsession with rocks. All kinds of rocks...)
Fast and funny, I said. The game has only twelve locations, so exploring the entire map does not take a lot of time. All those locations are packed full of action. Lots and lots of NPCs, most of whom brush you off in funny ways, are going about their personal business. The author has put in the effort to write many different events for each NPC, so the whole town seems bustling with activity. The writing keeps you on your toes, trying to keep up with the next thing that's going to happen. You need to pay attention to separate the important stuff from the background ambiance of the parade.
To keep this fast and witty atmosphere going, Everybody Loves a Parade is very thoroughly implemented. The game recognizes all nouns and synonyms. I even found two nouns that were only implied by the room description. Many, many actions that do not have anything to do with winning the game are implemented, so if you're stuck on a puzzle, you can go have fun trying to poke the outer reaches of what commands you can type. Add to this that many default responses have been personalized and adapted to the locations, and you will find that the atmosphere is almost unbreakable.
The puzzles are good. In such a small map, there is at least one, sometimes more puzzles in each room. They are all in plain sight from the start of the game. I did find it hard to find the first loose thread, since all the puzzles are arranged as a chain. Solving one gives you access to the next.
The puzzles are diverse. Some just require good old adventuring skills to get the missing parts, so you'll want to X the heck out of everything. Others require multiple steps to manipulate an NPC into doing what you need. So talk to everyone.
I finished this game in two afternoons and I had a lot of fun from start to finish. I advise everyone to do the same. Enjoy
Everybody Loves a Parade is a mid-length puzzle game in which you are stopped by a parade. You have to explore and scrounge up a variety of items to be able to escape.
The puzzles are old-school flavor; find items by searching or carefully reading room description, use them in unintuitive ways, and do some unmotivated actions. However, it is pretty fun, and I solved a few puzzles without the walkthrough.
The game is implemented well, with a lot of background character.
Many reviews at the time this came out mentioned a big surprise late in the game. The years since this game came out have significantly softened the surprise here (I thought it was going to be the standard 'this was all a dream' surprise, but it wasn't). This gives an interesting commentary on the changes in interactive fiction in the last couple of decades.
There are some lewd parts (a pornographic magazine, some dirty-minded individuals), but overall mild.
If you enjoyed Everybody Loves a Parade...
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