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Three-Card Trick

by Chandler Groover profile

Flimflam
2016

Web Site

(based on 16 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

You're going to perform a three-card trick or your name isn't Morgan the Magnificent.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 6, 2016
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: Unknown
TUID: afy6ej5cn9hof20m

Awards

5th Place - First Quadrennial Ryan Veeder Exposition for Good Interactive Fiction

Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2016

Editorial Reviews

Astrobolism
A very cool, short, and easy parser game which uses a number of fun tricks to manipulate the mood, pacing, and story.
See the full review

Christopher Huang
Rich, flavourful, with a lot of character, and it goes down smooth as oil. Like a glass of rich Madeira... or possibly Amontillado. For the love of God, Montresor!
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Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling
It’s a compact and effective horror story. The player’s actions are highly directed at every point, but there are stakes enough, and a sufficient illusion of freedom, to make it really satisfying.
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Narrativium
Cool gimmicks abound in Three-Card Trick: directional commands are played with, there are misdirections to make Derren Brown proud, and there is one hell of a surprise later on. Actually, make that two.
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Old Games Italia
Il titolo è autenticamente capace di tenere sulle spine il giocatore, riuscendo a stupirlo con alcuni veri colpi di scena, ma -soprattutto- tratteggiando in modo magistrale un mondo di gioco affascinante e misterioso, di cui però ci viene volutamente rivelato solo una parte piccolissima. Esempio perfetto di un autore che sa dire molto con poco.
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PC Gamer
I love this. Three-Card Trick is a devious piece of interactive fiction... Dark, inventive, and wonderfully written.
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Wade's Important Astrolab
Three-Card Trick manages to develop multiple dimensions of surprise and suspense over its duration, and thus, like a good magic trick, is itself surprising in a delighting way.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(6)
4 star:
(6)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(0)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A shortish, story-driven parser game about dueling magicians at an exposition, April 7, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2016
Chandler Groover has put his characteristic mark on the magician genre. The game is similar to "An Act of Misdirection" in tone and concept (where the player is forced to perform magic tricks without completely knowing how, in a grim setting). However, the focus is on atmosphere over puzzles. I felt on the edge of my seat the whole time, wavering between fear and mild disgust.

The game is about dueling magicians who will go to any length to disrupt each other. This part reminded me in a good way of The Prestige, especially as the magicians use new tricks to upstage each other and try sabotage.

The game is thoroughly polished, and credits a lot of testers for a compact game, which helps explain its smooth gameplay. I encountered no bugs, and the parser was very well-stocked with synonyms. Playing this game was like watching a thriller, with the parser so slick that it essentially disappeared, leaving the player to interact directly with the story.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Absolute love this original, creepy work from Groover, January 17, 2017
by streever (America)
The opening feels like a farce, with an appropriate level of slapstick and humor-filled writing, before the early twist that brings this into a darker, more macabre mood.

Groover experiments with navigation frequently, and in this work, the area of play is established as a two-tiered festival ground organized in circles. On either tier, the player heads 'in' to the center, where most of the action occurs, or 'out', to the transit spot between the two tiers.

Mechanics are simple and satisfying, divided into two sets of actions. First the player must explore; second, they must perform the magic trick. Puzzles are fairly constructed and should be easy to solve, aided by well-written prose.

This is a compact, atmospheric piece which I highly recommend. It may be my favorite of Groover's work, which I hold to a high standard as it is some of the best new work appearing.

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Recommended Lists

Three-Card Trick appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Favorite "atmosphere" games by MathBrush
These are games that are fun because of the atmosphere and plot more than the puzzles. These games are not too hard and not too easy. They generally have a big over-arching theme. I have included most horror and comedy games in other...

Polls

The following polls include votes for Three-Card Trick:

The Best Games of 1st Half of 2016 by A. Johanna DeNiro
Sometimes by the end of the year and after the Comp it's hard to keep front-and-center the games that appeared earlier in the year! Here is a place to list what has tickled your fancy so far. One vote per game only please.

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This is version 11 of this page, edited by Robin Johnson on 6 June 2016 at 7:08am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item