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Four in One

by J. Robinson Wheeler profile


(based on 8 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

"Do you realize how behind schedule and over budget this picture is?"
"Look, Mr. Thalberg," you say. "All I've gotta do is get the master shot in the can. So, maybe it'll take twenty takes. But when I get that take done, with the rewrites we're back on schedule and on budget."
"Twenty takes!" blurts Irving. "How many have you shot so far?"
"Fourteen," you say. "The Marx Brothers are getting a little impatient, but I think they respect me as a director..." Irving's face puffs and squinches. For a moment, you think he's about to have a seizure, and then suddenly Irving lets loose with a peal of laughter.
"Respect you! That's a good one," Irving says to you. "You play golf, right Sam?"
You nod. "Yes, Mr. Thalberg, I do."
Irving snaps his fingers with a manly click. "Val, go round up the boys and get them to the set." Val nods and leaves. "There," says Irving. "You've got them all teed up. You have TWO HOURS to get a take that we can print. I'd say you've got the same chance as getting a hole-in-one. Or in this case, a four-in-one."

[Note that the first "fourin1.gam" download link is the current release, version 1.1.7.]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Release 1.1.7
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 476
TUID: 1dg2yp15g6tm6izy


16th Place - 4th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1998)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

A highly unusual effort. You're Sam Wood, film director, trying to put together the last scene of the latest Marx Brothers picture--but that means getting the brothers to stay in one place for more than a few minutes, which, as one reviewer aptly observed, is akin to herding cats. Finishing the game depends in part on discovering how the Marx family dynamics work, but also in part on randomness, which means that this can be one frustrating game; so much trial and error is necessary that the fun tends to wane after a while. On the other hand, the writing is impeccable, Groucho's one-liners are hilarious, the attention to detail is impressive--lots of Easter eggs are scattered around--and there are literally dozens of reasonably realistic NPCs. It's a richly done game world, and if the central puzzle were just a little less maddening, this would be a whole lot of fun; as it is, it's still worth a look.

-- Duncan Stevens


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An extraordinarily complex group of active NPCs in a groucho marx scene, July 16, 2017
You are a director filming the Marx brothers, and you have to herd all of them together before you can film them.

There are tons of independent NPCs, all doing all sorts of things, running from each other, fighting each other, etc.

As a technical piece, it's brilliant; as a game, it's less than enjoyable. Even playing with the walkthrough is hard; I recommend dowloading the zip containing the source and transcript, reading the transcripts, and just playing around with the actual game.

If you enjoyed Four in One...

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Games which make use of non-player characters that have a great deal of independence, often moving around and acting on their own, or taking the lead in conversation. Some of these are more successful than others, but all are likely to...


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This is version 6 of this page, edited by kgarlow on 17 December 2018 at 5:31pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item