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by Graham Nelson

Time Travel/Historical/Romance

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Number of Ratings: 68
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- Martin Braun (Berlin, Germany), July 29, 2008

- LisariaUS, July 17, 2008

- Dave Chapeskie (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada), April 23, 2008

- DrFredEdison (CO, USA), April 16, 2008

- Tom Hudson (Durham, North Carolina), April 15, 2008

- Lady Sarah (Portland, Oregon), March 30, 2008

- bolucpap, March 19, 2008

- jfpbookworm (Hamburg, New York), February 25, 2008

- J. Robinson Wheeler (Austin, TX), February 22, 2008

- Dan Schmidt (Boston), January 31, 2008

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
Far More Than An Interactive History, January 27, 2008
by Rose (New Zealand)
Every so often, I play a work of IF and wish it could be made into a movie. This was one of the times. Jigsaw begins at the turn of the millennium and proceeds to whisk you through historical event after historical event with barely a pause for breath -- all the time pursuing a fascinating stranger who seems to think you're on their side.

The writing is superb -- Graham Nelson manages the feat of never using pronouns when referring to Black in order to allow the player to see both themselves and Black as they choose. The historical sections are obviously carefully researched, with careful details -- I loved Orville Wright's mandolin! Black, the main NPC, is a strangely likeable villain (or are they an ally?) with a fiery temper and a well-polished wit. And the plot, if somewhat confusing on the first playthrough, is entertaining.

As for the puzzles, I can't honestly say. I didn't solve them by myself -- I used a walkthrough. The impression I got, however, is that they are generally well-clued but with one or two guess-the-verb problems. There are lots of sudden deaths, most with warning but a few not. It's incredibly easy to lock yourself out of victory without realizing it -- (Spoiler - click to show)at the end of the game it is required to have an item from the prolouge that is none-too-easy to find. If you want to avoid problems with the game being unwinnable, pick up everything not nailed down and keep them in your rucksack in case.

To sum up, this would have to be my favorite game yet in terms of story and writing. I just wish it had been a novel and not IF.

- Tyrog, December 13, 2007

- Miron (Berlin, Germany), December 10, 2007

- Wesley (Iowa City, Iowa), November 11, 2007

- Wendymoon, October 26, 2007

- Stephen Bond (Leuven, Belgium), October 26, 2007

- Emily Short, October 19, 2007

Baf's Guide

A whirlwind tour of the 20th century. Hunt for the jigsaw pieces that allow you to travel trough time, following a charming stranger who wants to "improve" history. Huge, difficult, exceptionally well-crafted. Lots of detailed research went into this game. The environment is highly interactive, with some extremely detailed gadgets (such as Alan Turing's Enigma machine.) Surprisingly enough, Mr. Nelson also found time to include some romance - and the love interest is that charming stranger whose plans you're foiling. The game is divided into partially-ordered chapters, which are mostly, but not entirely, self-contained. Trinity's influence is obvious in the layout: a central strange and fantastic land, from which you can temporarily escape to the past. Three warnings: Some of the puzzles are very difficult indeed (one requires elementary knowledge of Proust!), many of the chapters have time limits, and it is possible to lock yourself out of victory without realizing it. (For that last point: The Kaldecki Detector found on the Titanic helps a lot.) Has a crucial dependence on character graphics.

-- Carl Muckenhoupt

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