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11th Place - 10th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2004)
Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 2004 XYZZY Awards
The puzzles were actually intriguing enough to keep me involved -- especially once I had put about a half hour into it. The worst part was that what I saw as the first puzzle, finding and getting into the Great Xavio's hotel room, was actually the hardest and most-involved of any puzzle in the game. [...]
Anyway. Enough about puzzles: what about the story? Well, the character is a pretty interesting one, while still managing to be vague so that the player can identify with him easily: a grad student with only a last name, who teams up with a professor (Dr. Todd) to solve mysteries. Or maybe fight crime. Apparently they've been featured in other stories before, though this is their first interactive fiction game. The professor is a bit of a caricature, but amusing enough until he becomes annoying, which is probably how it's supposed to be. He could have used a bit more variety in his random actions.
-- Jess Knoch
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>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page
The game credits testers, but I can't tell whether any of them are members of the IF community. If not, that may be part of the problem -- it's important to have at least one person in your pool of testers who is conversant with the basic standards of modern IF. They'll notice things that novice testers will miss. To sum up in one word what this game lacks: polish. It just needs to be tightened up -- formatting errors fixed, typos eliminated, underimplemented areas enhanced. Once that happens, the peculiar charm of Hagerston and Todd will be able to shine through unimpeded.
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In this game, you play a graduate student who does investigative work with their supervisor, Dr. Todd. Dr. Todd accompanies you, and was nominated for an XYZZY award for Best Individual NPC.
The idea is that you are investigating a magician who's staying at a hotel, and you want to determine if they are legitimate or fake. You have to solve a series of puzzles to do so, such as breaking in, collecting evidence, etc.
The story is a bit odd; an old knitting lady is a bodyguard, a random child seems to have snuck into the magicians apartment (neither of these have anything to do with the rest of the story).
Overall, not strongly recommended.
A comedic mistery with a well characterized NPC and not much more. Clumsy, uncertain use of the medium. The puzzles are decent at best, but the two protagonists save it from being quickly forgotten.
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