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Lost Pig

by Admiral Jota profile

Fantasy, Humor

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Number of Reviews: 46
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Simple, Short and Spectacular, February 18, 2015
I really liked this game. There's only three characters but even the speechless pig was interesting to me. There's only a few rooms but almost all of them are still clear in my head months after I finished the game. The puzzles mostly made sense and the only times I had to go to a walkthrough was because I overlooked something. It's earned the praise it receives.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting characters, sensible puzzles, and just fun to play, January 28, 2015
by besmaller (Portland, OR)
I've played a lot of interactive fiction, and Lost Pig stands out, because it was really fun to play from start to finish. The interactions with the pig and other characters in the game are enjoyable. The descriptions, written from the perspective of your curious, observant, but not-so-literate character, are quite funny. I felt myself sink into the character I was playing very easily. The puzzles were interesting, and made sense. This is a really well designed game.

One puzzle near the end gave me a little trouble, and I was appreciative of a built-in hint system which, invisi-clues style, would only give you as much help as you needed.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
An orc and a pig, January 19, 2015
This short game was deservedly lauded on its appearance. Lost Pig seems to start off as a concept piece: Grunk is an orc and communicates as such. But as it progresses, it becomes more than this. Grunk starts to function as a Candide-like observer of a small and seemingly static world: the distance induced by his vocabulary eventually vanishes and the player ends up identifying with Grunk. This is an impressive feat.

It can only work because the game as a whole has an internal structure that is unusually coherent and whose logic meshes with Grunk's ability. The NPC is a gem: quite different from Grunk, but complementary. By the end, the player is urging both NPC and Grunk on as they bring the game to a conclusion.

There have been discussions about the place of Lost Pig in the pantheon of contemporary IF. Without entering that debate, I would argue that Grunk is (written as) one of the most memorable IF characters, one who is transparent and who ends up being, in his own small way, a hero. The pig is a tremendous character, too.

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Really fun! You get to burn pants.... :D..., December 30, 2014
by Chai Hai (Kansas City KS)
The people who came before me gave this game its praise, but I just HAD to comment on the burning pants. That really had me laughing. The imagery.... Thanks for giving me a laugh! ^_^

Non-Stop Laughs!, December 27, 2014
by rfopsh
Related reviews: Pig, Find, Funny, Humor, Gronk, Gnome, Science, Alchemy, Farm, Orc,
I loved this game. It had me laughing all the way through and the puzzles were tricky but not impossible to solve. I enjoyed how much effort the maker put into the extra conversations and commands you can use that don't necessary further your progress but give the game color. The only thing I didn't like was how hard it was to get all the points, but maybe just because I'm too impatient to play a second time. Overall, amazing!

Me enjoy playing Lost Pig, November 5, 2014
As a new player of Interactive Fiction me like exploring the world of Lost Pig with Grunk and his pig. Me get confused a few times, and needed hint. Me finish game and smile. Me recommend Grunk to others.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
An excellent IF Haiku, January 30, 2014
by scottmbruner (alameda, california)
Lost Pig is perfect in its execution of a light puzzler through the eyes of a character who seems perfectly real despite being a fantastic beast in a world which seems intriguing despite the small glimpse we're provided.

Honestly, after I'd played, I wondered why it received such high praise - neither its gameplay nor narrative ambitions are particularly high - but after reflecting on the experience, I began to truly respect the perfection of its implementation. Funny without being corny, challenging without being obtuse, and finally, subtly moving without overburdened pretensions.

Good stuff, though I docked it a star because I did, in the end, want more...(and I wanted so badly to wear the thought-augmenting hat which sadly never appeared.)

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Charming, enjoyable and a nice break., July 2, 2013
I really enjoyed playing this- It's difficult not to love grunk. The humour is pleasant and the puzzles are quite quirky. It's a nice break from those longer, tougher IFs and a breath of fresh air.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Me love this game!, June 21, 2013
by stadtgorilla (Munich, Germany)
There's really not much to say about this game that hasn't already been said before. It has been featured in countless best-of-lists and lists with games that are accessible for beginners, it's almost legendary, and rightly so. I finally managed to finish the game on my iPhone, this is what I can say:

Grunk is hilarious. There's hardly a command absurd enough not to be greeted with a funny response from this memorable PC. It's worth playing the game for this alone. The implementation is deep. The NPCs are believable, loveable and crafted with a nice bit of character. The puzzles are logical and clued well, and, despite the small map, exploring is fun, as we're playing a loveable dunce manipulating magical artifacts. And despite all zaniness, the exchange between Grunk and the gnome is memorable in several ways. A true classic noone should miss.

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Pig maybe smart, but Grunk catch pig. So that mean Grunk more smart, June 6, 2013
by Jim Kaplan (Jim Kaplan has a room called the location. The location of Jim Kaplan is variable.)
Related reviews: admiral jota, humor
Play it if: you want simple, accessible puzzles and a short, sweet family-friendly game that's big on humor and character interaction.

Don't play it if: you're in the mood for something long, challenging, or particularly serious.

It's difficult to say something particularly new about a game like this. With its small scope and broad appeal, a lot of the obvious things have been already stated. But I'll go ahead and try to unpick what I like about this game anyway.

The appeal of Lost Pig all about its main character. Grunk is ostensibly the narrator of this tale, so his attitudes towards things colors the player's entire experience. I find Grunk's fairly simplistic descriptions of things interesting because they are reflective of the archetypal IF player's experience. Like Grunk, we put ourselves into a situation where we're confronted with machines and mechanisms we don't really understand, and we're made to figure out how to use them for our purposes. Grunk describes the world with the naivete of a child, and more importantly the naivete of a first-time player. And like the player, Grunk overcomes that naivete with cunning and shrewdness. Sure, he's not great with auxiliary verbs, tenses, or writing, but he does figure out all the steps needed to get the pig back. And with the addition of the gnome, Grunk can even display a fairly deep level of curiosity by learning about advanced principles of chemistry.

So Grunk's traits are those most IF players wish to cultivate in themselves: intelligence (in solving puzzles) and curiosity (in talking with the gnome).

Add to this his sense of humor. I've always held a soft spot in my heart for those throwaway pieces of coding, like Zork's patronising response to jumping for no reason ("Wheee!" "Very good. Now you can go to the second grade"). Little bits that added some personality to the game world and gently steered you away from the game's inability to let you do absolutely everything. Lost Pig almost feels like a game that's composed of that stuff. A lot of the joy in the game comes from having Grunk try stupid or outrageous things just to see his responses. And because the game is so thorough in implementing the things Grunk can try or do, it gets you to sympathize with him even more. Grunk lets the player act out the more childlike side of their sense of humor, because his willingness to try anything mirror's the player's willingness to make him do anything. Take the act of Grunk taking off his pants in front of the gnome. By itself, it's not particularly funny. But the fact that we're complicit in that act does make it funny. While playing this game, I found myself laughing at stuff I haven't been able to laugh at since the fourth grade.

That may not sound like a compliment per se, and I suppose it isn't if you're looking for something a little more literary. But I think the point that this game has constructed a uniquely sympathetic and charming main character stands.

So what about the secondary aspects of the game? Well, there are no obvious holes in the implementation of the setting. The gnome and pig are lovely characters in and of themselves - the pig for his variety of emotions and reactions (including intellectual disdain for Grunk!), and the gnome for the breadth (if not depth) of conversation you can achieve with him. I liked immensely the fact that the gnome is not immediately hostile towards Grunk - I mean, Grunk could realistically eat the guy - nor is he dismissive towards this comparatively dim and uneducated protagonist. Rather, he's willing to talk in basic terms about most any topic Grunk can think of and a few more besides that. For that he becomes a likable character and his relationship with Grunk, small in scope as it is, compelling.

The puzzles are few and simple, but they rely on intuition rather than method (intentionally so, as the maze demonstrates) and so they give you the pleasure of experiencing those little "eureka" moments every puzzle designer strives to cultivate in a player.

If I had something I'd change about this game, it would simply be the length. The core magical mechanism feels productive for more diverse and complex puzzles than what Lost Pig gives us, and even putting that aside I would have loved to have seen a game where the rather simple initial quest gets this young orc embroiled in something a lot bigger. Failing that, I think Grunk is easily a rich enough character for future adventures.

But that quibble aside, Lost Pig really is a gloriously fun and engrossing way to spend an hour or two.

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