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About the Story
"To Russia!" you boldly suggest.
Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2020 XYZZY Awards
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 5
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First off, kudos to Nomad for writing his review as a limerick. I wrote a quick tweet in limerick form about this game during IFComp 2020 and that drained all the poetry I had in me for quite some time.
So this game is written entirely in limericks, and I mean entirely. The options menu, the credits screen, your inventory, all of it. And while that is cool by itself, the game would still fall a little flat if writing the limericks took all of the author's efforts and the story/gameplay itself was shallow. But that is not the case in this game. The story isn't particularly deep, but it is about the level of story you would expect in a short, parser/puzzle game of this length. However, the puzzles themselves are very interesting and easily on par with parser games of similar scope. And what really makes this game great is that, once again, the limericks aren't just a gimmick but are actively worked into the puzzles in very clever ways. Think of this game as the limerick equivalent of Counterfeit Monkey. Saying too much more would spoil it and I want you to discover the treasures this game has to offer on your own.
The third Pace Smith game to entail
All limericks: pass, or a fail?
Though Limerick Heist
Quite greatly enticed
Such rhyming can quickly go stale.
Rejoice! There is no need for bile.
On playing there is no denial
The meter is sharp
And no one could carp
About lack of humor or style.
Two characters drawn from part one
Seek further enrichment and fun
So Russia's the place
Where they soon embrace
A dangerous underground run
Some bits in fact you may find neater.
So practical, too, for the reader:
The list of stuff carried
Throughout is quite varied
But it always goes with the meter.
There's puzzles where you will be spurred
To fill in the right-sounding word.
At first they seem clear
But later oh dear
they're tricky, but never absurd.
The best one to mess with your head:
A tomb, with a hundred count thread
Which number to pick?
The reasoning's slick.
You'll need to yoink three from the dead.
Your treasure, alas, can get crushed.
Choose wrong nearby, your fortune's flushed.
Each way your escape
Is a narrow scrape:
Timed finish-the-poem, not too rushed.
If this leaves you feeling disturbed
"A choice game left me guess-the-verbed"
Some letters get filled
While precious time's killed
And thus extreme tension is curbed.
To recap the things I just said, it's
Quite clearly in no need of edits.
The meta-text, too
Will make you go "ooh:"
Slick endings list, options and credits.
* the title box bars
stuff past 80 chars.
I feel so repressed now, womp womp.
So the original Limerick Heist was something that had never really been seen in IFComp: a game consisting entirely of a constrained poetical form (in this case, a ton of limericks) while still telling a coherent story with items and actions.
It did very well, and defied usual voting patterns (by being one of the shortest Choice games to place in the top 10). It also picked up some well-deserved XYZZY nominations.
I wondered what this game would be like, and its receptions. Did people vote highly for the novelty only? Would a second game that has the same tricks as the first do as well?
Unfortunately, we won't find out because Limerick Quest manages to be just as novel and ingenious as the first game, improving substantially on the original formula.
In this game, you encounter several puzzles involving completing Limericks under various constraints. Your partner (her text in purple, yours in green) gives out generous hints on request. The constraints vary quite a bit, and include timed puzzles near the end (with very short times, so watch out if you use text-to-speech!)
The puzzles were really ingenious. I could see this picking up a 'best puzzles' nomination for next year. I was shocked to see this game get so much mileage out of, for instance, 100 identical objects labelled by number only.
So, I had fun. The visuals were great, with animated text, expressive use of color (especially with voices in unison) and background color changes.
+Polished: Very much so.
+Descriptive: The limericks are carrying all the weight here, and they do well.
+Interactivity: The puzzles were honestly very clever and enjoyable.
+Would I play again? Definitely.
+Emotional Impact: Fun and excitement.
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