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An immersive text experience with a satisfying conclusion, October 29, 2020
This game is an ancient relic discovered and remade by Ryan Veeder, who has found all the documentation relating to it. By pure luck, the style of the gameplay has the whimsical charm and quality implementation characteristic of Ryan's own writing style (probably why he was attracted to it in the first place).
This game has a fairly hefty map, with a city of about 12 locations, many with an interior, and another chunk from extra side rooms and a couple of (not at all bad) maze-like locations. (maybe maze-lite locations).
The game has a built-in hint system where you ask your friends for help (which I accessed many times), and Dan Fabulich has made comprehensive invisiclues.
The story is basically what you would get if you had the Hobbit, but instead of the background of the Silmarillion you had a custom story that was a mashup of Captain Planet, Gargoyles and TMNT, and instead of Bilbo wandering around the very edges of the backstory you had a girl wandering around doing random stuff.
And the main theme of the game is (Spoiler - click to show)trading. If you every played the original game boy Zelda game, there was a long, involved trading quest involving everyone. That's basically what's going on here. You wander around town, slowly realizing what everyone wants or needs. Then all at once you find the starting point and it falls like dominoes. Until you get stuck.
The 17 digit key wasn't as hard as I expected it to be, but was computationally satisfying, especially the dichotomy chart, which reminded me of the tree dichotomy chart in the kids' encylopedia I had growing up, where if you identify the tree wrong, you get devoured by monsters on the next page.
I enjoyed the game, and also when I saw the Help text, I felt overcome and rested my head on the table in gratitude. I had fun with this game.