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Reviews by Walter Sandsquish

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1-8 of 8


The Underoos that Ate New York!, by G. Kevin Wilson

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Goofy, April 3, 2020
"Underoos" is a nicely-designed game with a silly premise and several clever puzzles. There's not much there, but what is there is fun.

Toonesia, by Jacob Weinstein

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Enjoyable Nonsense, April 1, 2020
"Toonesia" is a light, pleasant hodgepodge of Warner Bros. cartoons, which effectively recreates the world of 2-D animation. It manages to squeeze the desert of Wylie Coyote and the Roadrunner, the woodlands of Bugs Bunny, and an abandoned jewel mine into a small setting. In the weird world of 'toons, this makes sense.

But, while Weinstein's writing is solid, and his programming is usually transparent, the game has some problems. One nasty bug will kill your player character if you pay attention to it. The east-west directions are reversed in the description of the cliff walls surrounding the Mesa. Even in a 'toon, this doesn't make sense.

And, while Weinstein did capture the essence of the Warner Bros. characters, he failed to make any of them very interactive. The most interactive one, Dizzy Duck, is also the most frustrating one. Oddly, Dizzy will react to Elmo's actions, but to nothing that Elmo, the player character, says to him! In the Warner Bros. world of hyperactive, clever, sarcastic characters, this just doesn't make sense either.

Despite these weaknesses, "Toonesia" is still an agreeable game. The puzzles are fairly simple, and entertaining, to solve, once you catch onto their theme, which shouldn't be difficult even in a non-nonsensical game.

The Awakening, by Dennis Matheson
Creepy, but Buggy, May 5, 2015
"The Awakening" creates a sense of dread in a creepy setting, and its puzzles are reasonably clever, but it is hampered by several annoying bugs.

Aside from a few guess-the-verb and guess-the-preposition problems, there are a couple places in the game where you can take items, and then view the same location from a different vantage and still see the items you took in their original place.

Nevertheless, the game's unsettling atmosphere overcomes the distractions created by bits of careless programming.

The Tower of the Elephant, by Tor Andersson

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Vivid, but Under-Implemented, April 26, 2015
This short adaptation of one of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories features engaging prose and good characterization, which is odd, because I remember Howard's prose and characterization as clunky and overblown. I suppose all Howard needed was a good editor.

The game itself, however, is under-implemented. Nouns, plurals, and synonyms are missing, making it tough for the player to communicate with the parser. There's even a guess-the-preposition puzzle here, which forced me to consult the walk-through. And, instead of providing clues in the descriptions, the author makes suggestions directly to the player.

Still, this game has interesting stuff in it. One of the game's branches creates a small role-reversal for the player-character. Instead of an NPC following the PC, you follow another character. Fun, but taking this path bypasses the game's best puzzle. There's also a vivid, and effective, action sequence here, a rarity in IF.

I'd say it's worth fighting the parser a bit for a few good puzzles and the excellent writing this game offers.

Pick Up The Phone Booth And Die, by Rob Noyes

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Pointless, February 2, 2011
Just read the title instead.

+=3, by Carl de Marcken and David Baggett

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Pointed, February 2, 2011
"+=3's" thesis is that a puzzle's difficulty is not directly related to how logical the solution to the puzzle is, but rather by the context that the puzzle appears in. Most seasoned IF players will find this game's one puzzle infuriating because it cleverly defies IF's conventions, yet the puzzle's solution is not only logical, but, literally, a cliche.

Shade, by Andrew Plotkin

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Surreal, February 2, 2011
Odd, eerie, surrealistic, and foreboding, "Shade's" mood is its real attraction. The game's only "puzzle" is actually a very clever meta-puzzle; once you've noticed what all the significant commands in the game have in common, you'll get the gimmick and soon find yourself at the game's notorious ending.

Chickens of Distinction, by Liza Daly

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Plucky, February 1, 2011
This "Chicken Comp" entry is a cute, one-puzzle game distinguished by incisive writing and slapstick humor.


1-8 of 8