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Created for the Jay is Games - Casual Game Play Design Competition #7
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For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter with Blorb support - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Hoosegow

by Ben Collins-Sussman profile and Jack Welch profile

Western
2010

Web Site

(based on 34 ratings)
7 member reviews

About the Story

Muddy's plan done landed you and your partner in the hoosegow. Now you're fixing to rectificate the matter before the marshal introduces you to the business end of a hangin' rope at dawn.

Created for the JayIsGames Casual Game Play Competition #7.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Current Version: 16
License: Creative Commons
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Polite
IFID: 27AA9418-5BCB-43DB-8FD7-DA363734D23A
TUID: p2bxy33newzb930t

Awards

Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best NPCs; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Implementation - 2010 XYZZY Awards

1st Place - Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(5)
4 star:
(20)
3 star:
(8)
2 star:
(1)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 7
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Old-fashioned fun with very good writing, February 20, 2011
by Victor Gijsbers (The Netherlands)
The most impressive aspect of Hoosegow is undoubtedly the writing: from the title (an Anglicisation of a Mexican-Spanish word for "jail") to the character's speech and the narration, the language is perfect for the Western atmosphere the authors set out to establish. (Spoiler - click to show)(The fact that the game is set in the period after the Civil War, while "hoosegow" was first found in English in 1908, is something the reader will either not notice or not care about.) Funny asides, believable interactions between the characters, physical situations described clearly, and as icing on the cake a set of hilarious episodes: everything works. Reading this game is a pleasure.

It puts you in the shoes, or rather the smelly boots, of a Civil War deserter turned train robber, whose partner Muddy has once again gotten them both into big trouble. You will have to escape from the local sheriff's cell before they hang you in the morning -- a time limit that is implemented, but that is so relaxed that I doubt anyone trying to solve the game will come up against it. Complementing the cast of characters are a drunken preacher who randomly bursts out in apocalyptic oratory, a sheriff with the ambition to become an inventor, a deputy sheriff with the ambition to imbibe a lot of alcohol, a nasty dog, and a well-meaning but strict marshal.

Hoosegow is not a very innovative game: you will spend your time solving puzzles that fit perfectly in the tradition of interactive fiction. (If your previous game was Rover's Day Out, you can afford to be a little traditional.) These puzzles are well-clued and not overly difficult, and some problems can be solved in more than one way. For those of us (including me) who nevertheless become slightly stuck and are not eager to spend a lot of time on these somewhat old-fashioned puzzles, there are very good in-game hints and a very helpful PDF-file with the basic structure of the puzzles. (Resize the window of your PDF-reader so that you only see the top of the page, then scroll down until you find something you have not solved yet.)

This game doesn't offer anything that will blow you away, but it does offer a lot that will give you pleasure. Recommended.

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
It ain't bad I recon, December 13, 2010
by Aintelligence (Canada)
I was pleasantly surprised by this adventure. Taking place in a jail called hoosegow, after you were arrested by the sheriff, the story is that you have to get out of the jailhouse before your hanging tomorrow.

This game, like a few others, has a real spin on the classic speech. In everything the characters did, "scruffy, unshaven, slippery, uneducated cowboys In tattered vests" were written all over them. The author used southern slang for just about everything from "that ain't no verb I got knowledge of" to " is you talking plain English?" which significantly added to the style and story of the game.

The story is not, however, a simple 'escape the room' sort of game in which the puzzles are simple, but these puzzles involve a lot of logic, thinking and a little bit of guess the verb. I would say the puzzles were mainly fair, but there were a few spots I got hung up on because the solution was slightly obscure. However, if you really think of the puzzles in a really 'cowboy' way, they should not be too hard. What was hard though, was the numerous places where you had to play guess the verb, or even worse, guess the noun. Some spots could really use some more real editing. It really took away from the gameplay, I think, because I would get stuck in places where advance was impossible without the magic verb.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Great, folksy writing with fairly standard puzzles, February 3, 2016
Hoosegow's writing is a delight. In this straightforward but slightly difficult one-room escape game, you play a reluctant outlaw with his silly buddy and a drunken pastor trying to get out of a jail cell.

All of the standard messages have been changed to be folksy and homelike. The writing is just great, if you're into hometown western stuff.

The puzzles did not inspire me. It's one of the large class of puzzle games where one or two of the puzzles are unfair, and you could play forever and then give up. It's rare to find a game where the challenges are difficult but fair.

I recommend this game, and very strongly recommend it for group play, to get through the puzzles and have fun reading the responses.

See All 7 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Hoosegow:

games with great interactivity by nick love
I want a game with a great variety of interactiveness. I want it to be challenging but fun and comedic.

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Everyone knows that "escape the room" games and puzzles are an IF cliché. But which are the best examples of this classic genre?

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A list of games which notably use elision, sleight-of-hand, cleverly framed premises, or other fiendish implementor tricks in order to include significant NPCs in the story without having to implement them in deep, complicated detail....

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This is version 20 of this page, edited by Zape on 30 July 2020 at 10:57am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item