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Shuffling Around

by Andrew Schultz (as Ned Yompus) profile

Episode 1 of Stale Tales Slate
Fantasy
2012

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Number of Reviews: 3
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Great Game Age? Art Gem!, July 8, 2019
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)
If you enjoyed Nord and Bert Couldn't Make Head or Tail Of It--specifically the Shopping Bizarre--then Shuffling Around is an absolute must play.

I've always been fairly good at anagramming but found it mostly dull. But Schultz did just such an impressive job at turning it into a funny, engaging game with clever puzzles and endearing characters. And even if you're not good at anagramming, there are an unbelievable amount of gadgets you can use to give yourself different types of hints depending on your weaknesses that allow you to play at the exact pace you want. On top of that, if you get truly stuck you can just ask the game for more direct hints if you want to avoid going to an anagram solver on-line.

Like the Shopping Bizarre in Nord & Bert, you must often solve random anagrams lying around to get objects for your inventory to use on puzzles later. And while some of the puzzles are really straightforward (e.g. anagramming a bunch of items in a kitchen to make yourself some food), there are some rather genius multi-step puzzles, my favorite being the one to defeat the archenemy in the sortie.

But beyond just the puzzles, Schultz spent on what I can only imagine was an ungodly amount of time writing copious descriptions of rooms and objects that use clever anagrams for no other reason than to show off, and it was wonderful. Admittedly some of the anagrams are forced and make the writing a bit stilted in places, but in this world it was welcome.

There's not much of a story and it's mostly a disjointed puzzlefest, but considering each anagram I solved was like pushing a dopamine button, I was glad to be a rat in this maze.

Comments on this review

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Andrew Schultz, July 12, 2019 - Reply
Thanks for the review, and nice work with the subject too!

It reminded me I have a new release to push out. It has a few more Last Lousy Points and a lot more bounding scenery that says more than You Can't Go That Way. Some of the room names are changed in my pre-relase, too. For instance, the room to the west in the Store F area is (Spoiler - click to show)Flesh Shelf which overlooks the (Spoiler - click to show)iciest cities which are now scenery that blocks every way except east.

So a review like this is the nicest sort of motivation to finish the deal!

And don't worry, I didn't spend THAT much looking up anagrams :)--I had perl/python scripts do a lot, and I searched online dictionaries for synonyms.

I'm glad the puzzles were fun for you--I know I got a rush when I found a cool anagram that worked, and I'm glad I was able to pass that on.
deathbytroggles, July 16, 2019 - Reply
Awesome. Let me know if you're looking for a beta tester.
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