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3.gam
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3.step
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+=3

by Carl de Marcken and David Baggett

Educational
1994

(based on 15 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

This one-puzzle game was Dave Baggett's response to a discussion (flame war?) in rec.arts.int-fiction and specifically to Russ Bryan's claim that there could be no puzzles which are logical yet unsolvable. [blurb from The (Other) TADS Games List version 1.2]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 6
IFID: TADS2-6ACBC6C7D9E402E84E26F5E54C9EA767
TUID: 1z2lxiqua980sedk

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Written as an example of how not to write games. Specifically, the thesis it seeks to prove is that it is possible for a puzzle to have a completely logical solution, and yet be nearly impossible to solve except by randomly guessing commands. This was the centerpiece of a heated debate on rec.arts.int-fiction. Not meant to be played and enjoyed.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(1)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(3)
1 star:
(7)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
A game to mention, not to enjoy, May 28, 2008
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
This game makes a point about interactive fiction design. It makes it well and quickly (one you have figured out the solution, probably by reading the source or the walkthrough). So, although this game is not enjoyable as such, it does the one thing that it attempts to do quite well.

What is the point that it makes? According to Karl Muckenhoupt, the point is that "it is possible for a puzzle to have a completely logical solution, and yet be nearly impossible to solve except by randomly guessing commands". Without disagreeing with that, I would say that the point of +=3 is that "conventions of play are there for a reason". Either way, it's a good point, and +=3 is a name that you might want to drop in a discussion now and then.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Pointed, February 2, 2011
"+=3's" thesis is that a puzzle's difficulty is not directly related to how logical the solution to the puzzle is, but rather by the context that the puzzle appears in. Most seasoned IF players will find this game's one puzzle infuriating because it cleverly defies IF's conventions, yet the puzzle's solution is not only logical, but, literally, a cliche.

If you enjoyed +=3...

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This is version 2 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 7 December 2008 at 8:28am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item