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Uncle Zebulon's Will

by Magnus Olsson

Fantasy
1995

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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Solid puzzle game with humorous bits, September 2, 2016
by verityvirtue (London)
Related reviews: sanguine
[Time to completion: 45-60 mins]

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.

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namekuseijin, September 2, 2016 - Reply
it was possibly the first parser game I finished many years ago. Definitely worth it just because it got me hooked to the genre...

I did find the setting quite good at the time, because I just didn't know any better. It was a pretty common theme of the time, the treasure hunting on a relative manor. Curses! and The Muldoon Legacy do it much better and on a larger scale...
verityvirtue, September 3, 2016 - Reply
That's true, and I admit I was surprised when I actually went to take a look at the year of publication.
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