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Ralph.z5
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
ralph.z5
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Ralph

by Miron Schmidt profile

Slice of life
1996

(based on 12 ratings)
5 member reviews

About the Story

In this short excourse you play a dog. It doesn't matter what race, though it's probably a male dog (hence the name 'Ralph'). What matters is that you know you have buried a bone last year, which you now have to reacquire. The problem is, being a rather old dog, about eight to nine years old, your memory isn't what it used to be. The same goes for your nose, so you can't smell the bone through the earth. It seems you're on your very own.
[--blurb from The Z-Files Catalogue]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 9
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Baf's Guide ID: 177
IFIDs:  ZCODE-2-961005-6B1E
ZCODE-9-040309-3954
ZCODE-7-980224-9DEC
TUID: og54uzaryp1nh1jh

Awards

Nominee, Best Individual NPC - 1996 XYZZY Awards

12th Place - 2nd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1996)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


Here's a novel one: the player character is a dog. Not even a heroic Rin Tin Tin sort of dog, but a suburban house mutt seeking a lost bone. Very small and not spectacular in terms of gameplay, but it's funny and consistently doggy in its descriptions and mechanics.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

SPAG
I found this one to be very cute, and it just oozes with charm (I smiled at Christopher Robin and Blamant the Teddy, felt a certain sadness at seeing Ralph's unkind owners, and laughed out loud at the fate of poor Benny the Fluff Duck). (Christopher E. Forman)

The puzzles are somewhat over the top--they involve a more subtle grasp of human and animal psychology than most dogs have, and they strain the limits of a dog's physique--but they're not bad puzzles, on the whole. (Duncan Stevens)
See the full review

SynTax
This has to be one of the smallest adventures I've ever played, with only a handful of locations (7 to be precise) and a few simple puzzles that won't keep you occupied for much more than an hour or so. A walkthrough is included if you feel the need to cheat but you shouldn't need it.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

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


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Short and illogical, but somewhat amusing, October 6, 2009
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
In Ralph, you get to play a dog looking for a bone he buried a long time ago. In the garden. You can bet the family will be happy with your attempts to find it.

The main problem with Ralph is that the final solution to the puzzle doesn't make sense. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the actions you do will result in you finding your bone. So why do them? In the end, this game is only solvable because it is very short and you can simply try out everything until you have done what will turn out to be the right actions. But this is hardly satisfying.

Ralph was nominated for best individual PC in the 1996 XYZZY Awards. Partly this will be because a dog as protagonist is not often seen, and is certainly more interesting than a nameless adventurer; but there is also the fact that Ralph's personality emerges from the storyline. Nothing really special, but I can imagine that it made a favourable impression in 1996.

All in all, this game is not bad, but it certainly not a classic either.

Give a dog a bone. Short, cute game, February 3, 2016
This game was nominated for an XYZZY for best individual NPC.

You are a dog named Ralph wandering around the yard with a cat and a boy name Christopher Robin, after the Pooh stories. You have to find your bone.

This game is cute and short, with only three puzzles. I did use hints.

Not really my thing (see spoiler for why), January 21, 2016
by Deboriole (San Diego, CA)
Although this short game had one great puzzle at the start (for which I am giving the game an extra star), the second and third puzzles were not very intuitive. Playing as a dog I assumed my actions were somewhat limited and that I would need to get creative on the second puzzle. However, upon looking at the walkthrough, it turns out I simply needed to use a common action typically reserved for beings with arms. Hmm... but I'm a dog. How would that work, exactly? Anyway, the worst is yet to come. I inadvertently ruined the game for myself with the third puzzle. How was I to know that I would determine my fate based on (Spoiler - click to show)where I left the pipe? Leaving it in the garden (which is where I left it upon my first play through, just by chance) causes me to be beaten by my master and left shaking in my doghouse. A turn of events which made me really sad and a little angry. I wouldn't really recommend this game unless you can overlook the verb issue I mentioned, and you don't do what I mentioned in the spoiler tag.

See All 5 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Ralph:

Oh, You BEAST: Games where you're an animal! by Ghalev
I know of a small handful of games where you play a beast, and I want to know of more. (By beast I mean a cat, a dog, a chicken, an orangutan, that kind of thing ... not looking for mythical monsters and not looking for part-timers, so...

Non-human Perspectives by Rhetta_Lynnea
I'm looking for IF narrated by aliens, animals, anything.

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