Yak Shaving for Kicks and Giggles!

by J. J. Guest profile


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Amusing parody of a quest for enlightenment, December 18, 2018

Yak Shaving for Kicks and Giggles! is a short, light-hearted parody of a quest for spiritual enlightenment, complete with Dada Lama and 1970s-style aesthetics. Once I realized what the plot was I immediately thought of the Animaniacs episode where Yakko, Wakko, and Dot meet the Wally Llama. There are some similarities in tone - for example, the solution to one of the puzzles would fit right into an Animaniacs episode - but for the most part Yak Shaving's humor isn't quite so physical.

And there are a handful of puzzles to solve. I found some of the solutions to be a bit on the absurd side, but this is in keeping with the game's sense of humor. Plus the puzzles are always well-clued, and so the offbeat solutions come across as fair rather than frustrating.

There's even a meta-joke going on here, although I didn't catch it until I did some searching after finishing the game. Wikipedia defines "yak shaving" as "Any apparently useless activity which, by allowing you to overcome intermediate difficulties, allows you to solve a larger problem." Which, of course, is a good description of a lot of puzzle-heavy IF games. So Yak Shaving for Kicks and Giggles! ends up being a joke on multiple levels: As a traditional IF puzzle game in terms of structure, most of Yak Shaving is "yak shaving" - and it features yak shaving as well.

Personally, I prefer the author's games Alias 'The Magpie' and To Hell in a Hamper, but I did enjoy Yak Shaving for Kicks and Giggles!, and it elicited several chuckles from me as well. If you like the sense of humor present in J. J. Guest's other work, you should try this one.