* Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.
Have you played this game?You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.
Playlists and Wishlists
RSS FeedsNew member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page
About the StoryYour eccentric Uncle Zebulon considered himself a wizard, and was rumoured to be very wealthy. But when he died, he only left you one single object in his will... Winner in the TADS division of the First Annual IF Competition, 1995.
1st Place, TADS Division - First Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1995)
-- Carl Muckenhoupt
The main impression I had of the game was that it was a very solid piece of work. There were no bugs, all the pieces of the plot fitted together smoothly, the hook at the start was intriguing, and the ending was good, though not as much of a surprise as it should perhaps have been.
There were various aspects that disappointed. Apart from the one-object restriction, which was excellent despite needing a completely gratuitous demon to enforce it, the puzzles seemed a bit pedestrian. There are four objects hidden in obvious places and *two* puzzles involving collecting a set of related objects.
See the full review
The good thing about this game is, if you have collected the wrong objects, it is just a matter of going back for the correct ones. There is no sealing up of any part of the game except for the final scene, and even then, you have the option of using the UNDO command.
See the full review
|Average Rating: |
Number of Reviews: 4
Write a review
Most Helpful Member Reviews
Light-hearted in tone, traditional in style, "Uncle Zebulon's Will" finds that elusive balance between implied scope and actual delivery that many winning Comp entries miss. In short, it doesn't bite off more than it can chew in two hours of playtime, so it doesn't leave you disappointed when you reach the end.
I particularly admire the way in which the author provided descriptions and responses that are just enough to convince you of the reality of the game world. At no point was I disappointed by the lack of a particular programmed response: Even the game's bored and disinterested NPC was believably (and appropriately) bored and disinterested.
This economy of writing is one of the hallmarks of classic IF, and so perhaps it should not be a surprise that Activision included this entry in a 1996 re-release of classic Infocom titles. Other than the abbreviated length and the copyright date, you might never realize it isn't from the "Golden Age" of IF.
Your Uncle Zebulon has died, and while you're sure you were his favourite nephew, he bequeathed you just one item - it can be any item from his house, but you can only take one out. Your relatives have been all over the house, though, so will there be anything left?
This game is one of the games I've played this year with longer parser puzzles. One of the reasons I have stayed so far from these is because I am very bad at visualising and manipulating machines in IF - I do better when I can actually move things with my hands, which is a bit of a feat in IF. The puzzles here, however, are well-hinted. As befits an old wizard's house, Uncle Zebulon's Will makes use of some simple mechanics which work once, but are consistently implemented.
The writing is enjoyable, and I know some have called it terse or economical. This was typical of the time, but it felt natural to me; also, as others have mentioned, the one NPC that you get to talk to feels convincingly bored, with in-character 'error' messages when the player breaks the game's rules (most notably being the one object restriction when exiting the house).
A very solid game with good implementation and enjoyable writing. Would safely withstand the so-called test of time.
This game has some very ingenious puzzles. It focuses on alchemy, metals, and a bit of mythology. There was a puzzle with bottles that I thought at first might have been like Emily Short's later bottle puzzle in Savoir Faire, but then the solution was very different.
I didn't really enjoy the middle of the game. After exploring all the areas, including the tower, I was overwhelmed by the number of items and possibilities, and just felt like moving on to a different game. However, I've been wanting to finish games, in case there is better material at the end, and that was the case this time. Following the walkthrough, I accessed the end puzzles, which were really good; it almost made me wish I had just stuck it out and experimented more.
The story was not that great, but it's not a bad story; I feel like the very first and very last scenes got the most work, and the rest were pretty unmotivated. The rooms are sparse; there is an in-game reason for the emptiness of the house, but it felt forced.
Puzzle lovers will love it; story lovers should just use a walkthrough to catch the best bits.
See All 4 Member Reviews
If you enjoyed Uncle Zebulon's Will...
Related GamesPeople who like Uncle Zebulon's Will also gave high ratings to these games:
|Bring Me A Head!, by Chandler Groover|
Average member rating: (18 ratings)
Better hope you can hack it. A Grand Guignol entry for ECTOCOMP 2016.
|Letters from Home, by Roger Firth|
Average member rating: (16 ratings)
"Centuries of ancestry, decades of memories, years of decline; now, barely two hours in which to reflect on the glorious past, that bygone golden age when nostalgia really meant something... " [--blurb from Competition Aught-Zero]
|Varkana, by Maryam Gousheh-Forgeot|
Average member rating: (23 ratings)
Varkana is the name of a region in a world with a timeless, mildy fantasy/sci-fi setting (some technological and magical elements are present at this moment, but not prevalent), with the city-state of Arg Varkana as its major outpost of...
Recommended ListsUncle Zebulon's Will appears in the following Recommended Lists:
IF For Libraries by pwaak
I have examined the licensing and reviews for these games. They all conform to the selection policy of a typical public library in Texas. Your mileage may vary. Academic libraries may consider this list conservative while school...
PollsThe following polls include votes for Uncle Zebulon's Will:
The Modern Zorkalikes by Ghalev
My desire is straightforward, but proving difficult to satisfy. I want games that are like the Zork games might have been, given a more contemporary set of design ideals. It seems to be an abandoned playing field in some ways, as if the...
Games with mysticism by Anya Johanna DeNiro
What I'm looking for are games that aren't "other-world" fantasy, but rather use one of the following as part of its thematic underpinnings: Renaissance magic, Neoplatonism, hermeticism, gnosticism, alchemy, or any other kind of...
This is version 3 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 16 March 2013 at 8:51am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item