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Reviews by Christopher Bogs

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Lost Pig, by Admiral Jota

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Re-ignited my IF obsession, April 11, 2010
I've loved IF since I was a kid with a copy of Zork, and every once in a while I'll jump back in, but I hadn't played any titles in a few years. I downloaded Frotz for my iPhone, though, and one day while I was bored I started it up and thought "Lost Pig, huh? Well, let's see what this is about."

Well, Grunk stole my heart. I played the game all the way to the end on my iPhone, which, given the difficulty of entering commands on the tiny keyboard, says a lot. I simply couldn't stop until I'd found the end and picked out as many of the narrative gems as I could find. The clever use of language and the bewildering varieties of orc-like behaviors that Admiral Jota rewards with amusing results makes this game a winner, and the inability to make the game unwinnable makes it possible to try many actions just to find out what the response will be, without having to worry that you'll do something wrong.

The puzzles were neither overly simple nor brain-achingly difficult. I did resort to a walkthrough for one puzzle, but felt a bit dense afterward since the solution was rather obvious in hindsight. The NPC interaction can feel a little "consult the encyclopedia" if one hammers away at it long enough, but the conversation mechanism is thoroughly implemented and the writing is immersive enough to minimize the "ask a question, ask another question, ask yet another question" feeling.

The game is also ideal for people who prefer their environments small and manageable; the setting is confined to a handful of rooms that are easy to navigate and difficult to get lost in. At the same time, it's implemented fully enough that it never feels too limiting or claustrophobic.

All in all, this game has re-ignited my fascination with interactive fiction, and has even inspired me to pull my own unfinished title out of mothballs. I'm glad I went looking for that pig: me found a lot more than me expected.


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