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firwitch.zip
Contains FIRWITCH.GAM
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)
firwitch.step
solution
firwitch.sol
solution

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John's Fire Witch

by John Baker

Fantasy
1995

(based on 29 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

A small, witty text adventure. Its clever puzzles received quite a bit of acclaim on rec.arts.int-fiction upon its release. You've come to visit your old friend John Baker, but he's missing, and a blizzard has rolled in outside while you were asleep waiting for him. [blurb from The (Other) TADS Games List version 1.2]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 1.01
License: Shareware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 88
IFID: TADS2-6B02C22C884D0DEB378E66533228C04A
TUID: zywbjqch3w9elp79

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


You're all set to go drinking with your buddy John, but he's caught in the struggle between a Fire Witch and an Ice Wizard that live in hidden caves beneath his apartment. A small but detailed game with some very satisfying, if difficult, puzzles. Easy to get trapped in places until you suss out the teleportation device (hint hint).

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

SPAG
I'm not quite sure I can put my finger on what makes it so good - it's always easier to pinpoint what you don't like about something than what you like - but "John's Firewitch" is simply very good workmanship; those little irritating glitches and mannerisms that seem to be unavoidable in non-commercial works are absent; the game is eminently playable (much thanks to the excellent parser); the puzzles logical with satisfying solutions; the ending forms a satisfying climax; the writing excellent and free from mannerisms and bad jokes; everything just feels right. (Magnus Olsson)

There isn't a lot to John's Fire Witch; it's relatively short (250 moves or thereabouts required, and much of that is traveling hither and yon) and the puzzles and characters are simple. What's there, though, is refreshingly well put together, with very few obvious bugs or gameplay problems; as first efforts go, this is one of the better ones you'll find. (Duncan Stevens)
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SynTax
This is, as I said, a fairly small adventure, but it seems larger than this because you are required to travel over previously seen ground. This does not make it boring, rather it gives the player a good sense of familiarity with his/her surroundings. (Neil Shipman)
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SynTax
This is a small game with only 37 locations, but there is still quite a lot to do. The game leads you gently from one puzzle to the next, and none are too difficult. (Karen Tyers)
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Xyzzy News
While the scenario may sound a bit simplistic, "John's Fire Witch" turns out to be a pleasantly engaging, unpretentious game that should appeal to a broad range of IF gameplayers. With fewer than 40 locations and a scoring total of 10, "John's Fire Witch" is well-suited to the "snack-sized adventure" label applied by its author. The game's small size and small number of puzzles make it a good introductory game for beginning to intermediate IF players; however, the puzzles are interesting enough to intrigue more experienced players for at least several hours.
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Member Reviews

5 star:
(3)
4 star:
(13)
3 star:
(12)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Straightforward Puzzle-Based IF, February 12, 2010
by Brian Conn (Eureka, California)
The plot: You show up to visit your old friend John, but he's nowhere to be found; you get trapped in his house by a snowstorm; there seems to be some kind of crazy tunnel in his basement. Adventure ensues. A goblin, a demon, a devil; color-coded rooms.

The puzzles are good overall. A couple of them have particularly nice twists; a couple, on the other hand, seem a bit random, but the game is small enough that even the random ones can be solved by experimentation and you don't have to go too crazy.

What's mostly lacking is atmosphere. I don't think I formed a really vivid image of any location or object in the game. Everything is described minimally, and the only objects implemented are those necessary for the puzzles. At the beginning the protagonist does have a nice humorous voice as he talks about John and his habits, but that too goes away once you get underground.

If you're looking for a decent demon-puzzle or two and don't want to be bothered with the rest, go for it.

Enjoyable short adventure from the early years of home-made IF, February 3, 2016
John's Fire Witch is a short, fun collect-the-item and solve-the-puzzle game. The feel reminded me a lot of Enchanter, but without the magic.

I've been more interested in story than puzzles recently, so I used a walkthrough at a couple of points (which made me realize I had forgotten that I dropped some items).

Two big puzzles were very fun; the (Spoiler - click to show)crystal card and the devil's bag. The last puzzle was a bit unfair, I thought.

There are no mind-bending surprises or big innovations here; just well-thought out puzzles. If you like this, you would enjoy Uncle Zebulon's Will.

If you enjoyed John's Fire Witch...

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Polls

The following polls include votes for John's Fire Witch:

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I'm very interested in hearing truthful accounts of at least somewhat difficult games (or games that don't solve themselves at least) solved completely without recourse to hints, walkthroughs, etc.

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This is version 7 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 20 March 2013 at 4:41am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item