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fm.gam
crashes some TADS interpreters
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.
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A walkthrough by the author

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Finding Martin

by G.K. Wennstrom profile

Science Fiction
2005

Web Site

(based on 4 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

Venture past the limits of ordinary reality as you investigate the mysterious disappearance of an old friend. In order to solve the most challenging of these puzzles, you will need to cooperate with yourself by making several time travel trips to the same event.

Game Details

Language: English (en-US)
Current Version: 1.12
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Forgiveness Rating: Cruel
Baf's Guide ID: 2800
IFID: TADS2-91E0B3E6067D3397987407460BFE5BB1
TUID: tmf83w8qcbeiibeq

Awards

Nominee, Best Game; Nominee, Best Puzzles - 2005 XYZZY Awards

Editorial Reviews

IF-Review
Not Your Father's Uncle Buddy
I realize there are arguments to be made for underground cave systems and college campuses, but for me the archetypal IF setting will always be Your Crazy Friend/Relative's Crazy House. It's the perfect way to work through all the classic IF tropes - plenty of puzzles to solve for no other reason than to see what's beyond, sealed-off areas you can open, no NPCs, and a plot that emerges in dribs and drabs as the game progresses. Of course, that kind of old-school stuff went out with the dinosaurs (specifically the Nelsonasaurus). These days we're all about the high-concept exploration of character and allegorical narratives detailing the eternal struggle of man vs nature, man vs man, and man vs conversation tree. Right? If so, nobody told Wennstrom - Finding Martin is a fresh-from-the-time-capsule puzzle game of the oldest school and, you know, that's kind of cool. Possibly "cool" is the wrong term for a game that extensively refs Douglas Adams, Monty Python, and Tolkien (not to mention the Beatles, Disney, and Lewis Carroll), but you know what I mean.
See the full review

SPAG
If you love yourself a big, juicy puzzlefest, Finding Martin is cause for
celebration. It's several times larger and more complex than anything Infocom
ever attempted, and it's generally quite well-implemented. I encountered a
number of glitches in my journey through the game, but they were all minor --
typos, missing synonyms, and underimplemented parsing mostly. There are a few
logic errors here and there, but nothing game-crashing, and in fact very little
that even caused me any trouble with a puzzle. Moreover, these problem areas are
a very small percentage of the game itself, and this is a game that implements
some highly complex behavior. A few errors here and there are quite forgivable
in a game this ambitious in scope.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(0)
4 star:
(3)
3 star:
(1)
2 star:
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Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Almost as long as Blue Lacuna; full of pop culture; smooth implementation, October 28, 2015
by MathBrush
Related reviews: more than 10 hours
Here is some of the pop culture referenced in this game:
(Spoiler - click to show)Lord of the Rings, Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy, Song of the South, Peter Pan, Waiting For Godot, the play Rhinoceros, a knot theory joke, the ten-inch pianist joke, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Star Trek: Voyager, Zen koans (is that pop culture)?, famous mathematicians like Archimedes and Fibonacci, Duck Tales, etc.

And that's just the ones I could remember off the top of my head!

This game joins the list of ultra-long games such as Blue Lacuna, King of Shreds and Patches, Mulldoon Legacy, and Time: All Things Come to an End.

In gameplay, it resembles Mulldoon Legacy a lot; both are supersized versions of Curses!. You explore a huge structure, manipulating a variety of magical or technological systems, with a variety of hint systems.

Finding Martin has smooth implementation, including several very long time travel sequences interacting with multiple copies of yourself. This forms the last third of the game, and is the most technically competent time travel I have seen. Imagine All Things Devours as a subgame, 4 times.

Finding Martin has a tendency for very long text dumps. As I enjoy reading, this wasn't an issue, but there are probably 20+ cutscenes of 2-4 pages of text each.

As others have noted, Finding Martin is spottiest when it comes to hints. Some things are hinted well; in particular, there are several systems of providing hints, and if you get further in some puzzles, you'll unlock long cutscenes containing hints for other puzzles.

However, so many puzzles require leaps of intuition that you are bound to fail multiple times. For this, a walkthrough is essential. I've tried to upload a walkthrough to IFWiki that I found on web.archive.org, but it didn't seem to go through. The link is https://web.archive.org/web/20080516223332/http://www.qrivy.net/~gayla/fm_walk.txt

This game, as with Mulldoon Legacy, should be more played and more discussed. However, both games suffer from information overload. I get stressed playing Blue Lacuna, which can be played puzzlelessly, and even Counterfeit Monkey, where puzzles are well-clued. These games (Mulldoon and Martin) are just too darn hard to be solved by anyone without clues.

However, my strategy for such games is to play through with a walkthrough, then come back months or years later and try to play without a walkthrough. I've done Curses! 3 times now this way, and I hope to do it without a walkthrough. I hope to replay Finding Martin one day.

Featured on Radio K: Ask/Tell #10, July 23, 2017
by Adam Cadre (Albany, California)
Janice Eisen and I discuss Finding Martin at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tERrTj4VCK8#t=43m7s

If you enjoyed Finding Martin...

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Recommended Lists

Finding Martin appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Games of Infocom quality and length (or better) by MathBrush
These are games that are as long as an Infocom game (i.e. Shade would be too short) and are as good quality (so Colossal Cave Adventure, though fun, is out). By quality, I mean the kind of things accomplished by numerous testers: few...

Big, difficult games that I always return to. by calindreams
Maybe I'm a masochist. I'm not very good at puzzles and I've got the attention span of a gnat. But for some reason I'm always drawn to big difficult games. I like games where you have a lot room to explore and you don't get stuck in one...

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It happens over and over: an author spends hundreds of hours on a game, often setting up a commercial company, and then releases it to almost total silence. This list contains such games, as well as other big games where the author was...

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Finding Martin:

Longest games you ever played by MathBrush
I'm looking for the game that you played that had the most content (not necessarily being stuck on a puzzle for a long time)

One Hit Wonders by deathbytroggles
Good games by authors who apparently retired after their one gem.

Games about Time Travel by Estrong157
more specifically, games with time travel as a gameplay element.

See all polls with votes for this game

Links




This is version 9 of this page, edited by Zape on 29 June 2020 at 10:10pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item