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ballerina102.z8
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Walkthrough and maps
Verbose walkthrough and maps by David Welbourn.

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Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina

by Jim Aikin profile

Seasonal
1999

(based on 25 ratings)
4 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Forgiveness Rating: Nasty
Baf's Guide ID: 490
IFID: ZCODE-1-991128-A050
TUID: cg4j40i7wq34ggo1

Awards

Nominee, Best Puzzles - 1999 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Despite the off-putting title, Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina is an absolute treasure for puzzle-lovers. You are a harried mother who has been given an impossible assignment: finding an incredibly rare toy for your daughter on Christmas Eve. The game begins as you arrive in the parking lot of the only mall left that still has one.

While most of the dozens of puzzles are fair, there are a couple of mathematical riddles and visualization puzzles that had me tearing my hair out. It also contains some cultural references that may make it difficult for nonnative English speakers. Nevertheless, the game's sheer density (and the strength of its adaptive hints system) make this the best puzzle game I've seen since Curses.

-- R. Serena Wakefield

Brass Lantern
On the whole, then, Ballerina fits its genre admirably, and the player who doesn't ask it to be more than a puzzle-fest will not be disappointed. The puzzles are difficult, but largely fair, and they boast a wealth of originality. It has some minor flaws, but it's worth checking out.
See the full review

SPAG
The writing is excellent, with very little in the way of errors. Of course, you have to allow for the difference in spelling (eg tire instead of tyre), but I have no quibble about that. The game runs smoothly, and solving one puzzle seems to lead right into another without any let up. I lost count of the number of objects to be found - 63 at the last count, and every one has at least one use. This will give you some idea of the size and complexity of the game.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(9)
4 star:
(11)
3 star:
(4)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fun game, very challenging, January 17, 2013
by Shadow Fox (Texas)

Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina has a lot of the elements I enjoy in an IF game. It is well-written and atmospheric, and I found myself still thinking about it when I was done playing. The comprehensive hint system and walkthrough built into the game were extremely useful and, for my part, needed.

The puzzles in the game range from fairly simple logic and common-sense - finding and applying appropriate objects to one another, for example - to very challenging. More than once I needed to tap the depths of the hint feature to get through a tight spot, and there was one particular puzzle that I would never have solved without help. Still, gameplay is easy, the descriptions are well done and there is a lot to explore and discover.

There was only one real downside to an otherwise great game. When I finally did resort to the full walkthrough (due to a computer error that kept me from restoring saved games, I had to restart after any mistake that couldn't be fixed by typing UNDO. I gave up after a couple of hours) I discovered that I had already messed up in three different ways over the course of the game. I had been wandering around in ignorant bliss, solving other puzzles, and having no idea that I had already lost. That was probably the most frustrating moment.

Over all, I do recommend the game to anyone who likes a compelling atmosphere, tricky puzzles, and a fair amount of freedom to do as you please. But I would also recommend saving frequently, because you never know when you'll find yourself suddenly stuck because of a common action without any warning.



1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Fun, But Tormentingly Difficult, June 6, 2016
So this is a game where I easily got involved in this for hours at a time exploring the mall, interacting with the scenery, getting stuck, trying to find out if I can get unstuck. For the second time last night, in about two weeks of attempting to solve this, I had to restart the game. So I'm taking a break now. But in general, a few pieces of advice for those of you playing the first time (Spoiler - click to show)if you walk into a room and you realize you've broken a crystal ball, click undo. AND (Spoiler - click to show) don't use up your matches all at once, you will need them later . AND (Spoiler - click to show) make sure you find a way to stop the guard from seeing your activity on the security screens AND (Spoiler - click to show) don't shred the book in the book printing machine . I can promise you that you will need hints and at one point, I caved and peeked at the walk through. I did get stuck and realized that I had to go back to the VERY start of the game, despite my numerous attempts at saving thanks to (Spoiler - click to show) the fact that I used up all my matches and didn't realize I need them for a specific room /SPOILER>.

Fun game, and VERY addictive. But almost too difficult for me, to the point where it wasn't very fun, because I kept needing hints to get through different tasks. But if you are up for a challenge, I'd say take this one on. Good atmospheric game though, and I loved the idea of being ina mall after hours.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Vast world with variety of puzzles , April 5, 2015
by MathBrush
Related reviews: more than 10 hours
This is a Christmas-themed game with the same gameplay style as Curses or Zork. The character explores a very large shopping mall after hours, trying to get a Christmas present. The feeling of loneliness mixed with wonder gives a nice atmosphere to the game.

The puzzles range in difficulty from very easy to very hard. You should assume you will use the hint system, which is wonderful. Puzzles include mindbenders, find-object-use-object, and some big mazes.

I enjoy games that are too difficult to completely beat on your own, but are large enough and non-linear enough to give even casual players hours of entertainment before turning to hints. This is such a game.

The endgame puzzles are frankly too difficult with too little reward. The game was very fun right up to the time you get (Spoiler - click to show)a ball from Santa. Everything after that felt like work. It may be because I relied so heavily on the walkthrough at this point.

Great game for someone who like Curses and wants a similar experience.

See All 4 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina:

Milking by CMG
After playing Hard Puzzle by Ade McT, which centers around assembling a "milking stool" under rather sinister circumstances, it struck me how odd it can be to feature milking in a game. This poll is for any games that include or...

Longest games you ever played by MathBrush
I'm looking for the game that you played that had the most content (not necessarily being stuck on a puzzle for a long time)

Really hard puzzle/adventure games by Silius
You know like with lots of puzzles you have to solve.

See all polls with votes for this game

Links




This is version 6 of this page, edited by David Welbourn on 19 June 2015 at 10:45pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item