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Lost Pig

by Admiral Jota profile

Fantasy, Humor
2007

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(217)
4 star:
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3 star:
(25)
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Number of Reviews: 45
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
The Secret History of the Lost Pig (And Place under Ground), July 25, 2010
Let me come to the point: I didnít like this gnome, and Iím not sure youíre supposed to, either. What appears to be a creature of gruff benevolence and bemused patience is in fact a war-mongering technologist of death and destruction. I donít think itís too much to suggest that the gnome is in fact an imprisoned demon assuming another form, and you, the naive orc (with neutral tendencies?), innocently go around and undo the wards that bind him. Was it fate that brought the pig to this fell hole? Or abyssal evil?

So thatís the secret history (anecdota) of Lost Pig, which I see that few have detected. And thatís fine. Itís a lovely game otherwise. I really had hoped that I was going to be able to add it to the ďsolved without hintsĒ pile, but I went ahead and cheated to find out how get the seventh point. This was weak of me, and I regret it even now. The Gadarene swine that has led you into temptation even talks with the gnome on occasion, which really gives the game away if you have any doubt about the aforementioned theory. But other than this ominous note, the pig is amusingly implemented. It took most of the time I spent playing to work out the exact mechanics of how to catch him, mostly because I was wondering about the possible use of a certain object, which, outside of any anagogic properties,* seems merely to have been put there for amusement.

And thereís no shortage of amusement. Lost Pig is possibly the most deeply implemented game Iíve ever played, especially in terms of witty responses to gratuitous actions. Though I havenít read the livejournal where the author first introduced the character, I can imagine how fun it would be. The language, however, is worth thinking about a bit. Tolkienís orcs have their own language, after all: ďOrc-speech sounded at all times full of hate and angerĒ (Two Towers). I believe this is the convention in AD&D, as well. While full of hate and anger, thereís no indication that orcish is essentially a type of pidgin language, though that would be the case if Grunk was not speaking his native language in the story (or thinking it, either).

On an implementation note, I only noticed after playing that a ďGO TO [person]Ē command was implemented, which I assume would work for the pig. One irritation was the difficulty I sometimes had in finding the pig, which would have been alleviated by knowing that command. (I suppose Grunkís keen sense of smell could lead him to the pig without difficulty.) Iíve been trying to think about the best games to ask my wife, who's never played any IF as far as I know, to try. Lost Pig was one of my first choices, along with several of the well-known puzzleless games. For all its charm, however, I doubt that someone unfamiliar with the conventions of the games from the the underground caverns of yesteryear is going to piece together such bits as the (Spoiler - click to show)color magnets, for example. And there are well-written hints as well. So weíll see how it goes.

*Think of a certain M. R. James story.

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Lost Pig is a crack up., June 27, 2010
by Shoki (Los Angeles)
Fun game. I thought the writing was great. I need to retrain my mind to figure out these puzzles. I got stuck a few times. I did try mapping the game with IFM and that was also very cool.
Note: this rating is not included in the game's average.

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
Greatness, June 10, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)
The writing of this game is enough to draw you in by itself. Your character is stupid- an orc, and the descriptions of everything keeps that in mind, continually reminding you that you are seeing things simply and not thinking too much.

The game is puzzle based, where you need to find a lost pig (not too hard), and catch it (a bit harder). Everything seems fairly well implemented, and the character you can interact with seems to respond to the appropriate topics.

There isn't much to say about this game without giving away puzzles or solutions, but I would definately reccommed this game to anyone in favor of the wandering around solving puzzles genre of IF, like Zork or similar. If you want Galtea conversation or Cadre's IF experiments, this isn't for you.

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Very accessible and truly hilarious, May 20, 2010
The main story is very good and puzzles are challenging.
But the best caracteristic of this game is the choice of the main character. His poor language allows hilarious descriptions of rooms and items, getting closer to Interactive Fiction syntax (improving immersion), but also allows non-english people (like me) to fully enjoy the great humor of the author.
Secondary characters are also great and highly responsive.

Honestly it's the best IF I ever played!


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Re-ignited my IF obsession, April 11, 2010
I've loved IF since I was a kid with a copy of Zork, and every once in a while I'll jump back in, but I hadn't played any titles in a few years. I downloaded Frotz for my iPhone, though, and one day while I was bored I started it up and thought "Lost Pig, huh? Well, let's see what this is about."

Well, Grunk stole my heart. I played the game all the way to the end on my iPhone, which, given the difficulty of entering commands on the tiny keyboard, says a lot. I simply couldn't stop until I'd found the end and picked out as many of the narrative gems as I could find. The clever use of language and the bewildering varieties of orc-like behaviors that Admiral Jota rewards with amusing results makes this game a winner, and the inability to make the game unwinnable makes it possible to try many actions just to find out what the response will be, without having to worry that you'll do something wrong.

The puzzles were neither overly simple nor brain-achingly difficult. I did resort to a walkthrough for one puzzle, but felt a bit dense afterward since the solution was rather obvious in hindsight. The NPC interaction can feel a little "consult the encyclopedia" if one hammers away at it long enough, but the conversation mechanism is thoroughly implemented and the writing is immersive enough to minimize the "ask a question, ask another question, ask yet another question" feeling.

The game is also ideal for people who prefer their environments small and manageable; the setting is confined to a handful of rooms that are easy to navigate and difficult to get lost in. At the same time, it's implemented fully enough that it never feels too limiting or claustrophobic.

All in all, this game has re-ignited my fascination with interactive fiction, and has even inspired me to pull my own unfinished title out of mothballs. I'm glad I went looking for that pig: me found a lot more than me expected.

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
Practically perfect, September 21, 2009
I can't really add much to what has been said about this game already, except to say that I simply found it virtually perfect. The writing is absolutely beautiful, consistently funny, and often surprisingly moving. That is partly because Grunk, as a character, has such integrity and believability. Although presented as incredibly dense, the way he describes locations and objects, often incorporating quite shrewd observations along the way, suggests that he's not all that stupid at all. That gives him depth and emotional resonance. It must be said also that by having Grunk narrate the game in its entirety offers a neat approach to the problem of who the parser is supposed to be, and whether the narrator of the game is a different person from the PC. This game solves that problem by identifying the PC with the narrator, although at the cost of distancing the player from the PC (if Grunk is telling me what's going on, I'm clearly not Grunk, just in case I'd had any uncertainty on that score). There's no emotional distancing though, because Grunk is so engaging a personality.

The puzzles are nicely logical and the gnome NPC has a dry, educated wit that meshes perfectly with Grunk's rather more straightforward approach to life. There are a truly vast number of things you can ASK GNOME ABOUT, most of which have no bearing on the game itself, although some of course contain vital clues. It's a lot of fun to explore these topics, although this can result in the gnome seeming a bit like one of those information-dispenser sort of NPCs who are inexplicably willing to be grilled at length by over-curious PCs. But the gnome's sardonic wit and the fact that he's busily doing other things whilst satisfying Grunk's curiosity make him much more than a talking pedia.

The pig also has a lot of character, making this whole thing rather like one of those children's books that adults can also enjoy. I liked the author's attention to detail, which often brought out extra little elements of the characters (e.g. try taking your trousers off in front of the pig). I must admit that having apparently completed the game I was puzzled by how to gain the elusive last point and looked it up fully in the hints. I rather wished I hadn't, not only as it would have been more fun to work out by myself, but also because the behaviour required to get the last point is the sort of behaviour that I instinctively engage in when playing this sort of game anyway, but generally don't bother, because it seems not to matter. The fact that it mattered in this game says a great deal about it. This is a game with heart.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
A runaway success, July 26, 2009
by Dark-Star (Nebraska)
When I first spied this title listed on a favorite IF site, I was somewhat skeptical of the premise. An IF game where the protagonist is an oafish orc? And the objective is to recover a loose pig?!

A mere half-hour later, I had soundly proven myself wrong and hadn't been so glad for the fact in a long time. Grunk's simple-mindedness on the level of Dumb and Dumber provides nearly endless opportunities for hilarity; Lost Pig can be literally a laugh a minute. Old IF buffs as well as younger children may get the most enjoyment as the game generously rewards experimenting with zany behaviour. Sing, burp, yell, light your pants on fire and see what happens!

But that's not all - Admiral Jota isn't one to write a one-trick pony. Catching the little pile of porkchops is not at all an easy task, although it's debatable whether that's due to an amazingly clever pig or just that Grunk is such a dunce! Swine-snatching aside, the superbly detailed scenery and character interaction add immensely to the game's depth, as does the system of rewarding behavior. The only ways to lose are through foolishness or carelessness (such as (Spoiler - click to show) lighting the forest on fire to drive the pig from under a bush), and the 'best' ending is a reward that takes a good deal of effort to earn.

With an excellent balance in everything from humor to difficulty, Lost Pig is an enjoyable IF romp you'll be glad you took the time for.

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Casual IF should be a myth, but..., April 27, 2009
by Michael R. Bacon (New Mexico)
I asked some friends who are not even very computer-savvy to try "Lost Pig" and they became engrossed after a few minutes of user-interface confusion. I had always thought the confusion would be enough to put off the average user (and still do not believe in IF as a profitable venture), but each of them greatly enjoyed the game and wanted to continue playing longer than my laptop was available to them.

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Making fun of orcs never gets old., November 25, 2008
by mazirian (Yarmouth, Maine)
Related reviews: IF Comp 2007, comedy, fantasy
A short but fun game that relies on the inherent humor of its orc protagonist. Fortunately, the game is easily solved before the joke of doing things to your pants wears thin. This would be a great introductory game for anyone new to IF.

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful:
10 year olds review Lost Pig, October 14, 2008
by Mike Sousa (Massachusetts)
It was very fun and exciting and I liked the characters, especially Grunk. I liked the part with the bread machine. I also liked that whatever you ordered Grunk to do he did, including burping. I also liked that one thing led to another and you had to do things in order to solve the game.

I enjoyed how the game felt realistic, like it really was happening. The gnome dude was really cool and nice. It's not like you can talk to a gnome every day! I also enjoyed the fact that you had to be precise on your commands. I thought it was cool that you had to say exact directions... not like right,and left. More of N,NW,NS,E,SW,SE,S,AND WEST. It was an awesome game. I hope there are other games with Grunk included!!!!!!

Raquel & Liza
Age 10


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