Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In


Story file
For all systems. To play, you'll need a glulx interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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 Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page

The Magpie Takes the Train

by Mathbrush profile

Episode 2 of The Magpie

(based on 6 ratings)
2 member reviews

About the Story

A millionaire guards a fabulous ruby in her private train car. Countless thieves have failed to steal it. But they weren't the Magpie!

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: October 1, 2020
Current Version: 8
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
IFID: 1382CE5F-959A-4B62-A926-2A48EF5D0676
TUID: wfs8b2nphpeqrnaq


Entrant - 26th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2020)

Editorial Reviews

Doug's World
Magpie Takes the TrainĒ shares several features in common with its inspiration: an entertaining detective farce involving frequent costume changes; dialogue with an amusing cast of upstairs-downstairs society figures (but curiously set in the states). Both games have a well implemented full parser interface.

This game differs from ďAliasĒ in its scope. Whereas Alias was a full length game, with multiple rooms and individual scenes, ďTrainĒ is an elaborate one-room puzzle box....

A delightful addition to the Magpie canon.
See the full review

Newcombís IFComp 2020 Reviews
However, itís Informís broken implementation of darkness that really irritates me. Suddenly I canít continue the conversation Iím in because it got dark. The PC is suddenly deaf and forgetful in addition to blind. I have never understood why. Iím sure Iíll need the darkness for a later puzzle bit, so I Z Z Z a lot until it goes away[...]

An NPC barks at me for touching the radiator Ė fine, Iíll wait until itís dark to fill the room with steam or however this is supposed to change matters Ė but when it gets dark I canít do anything again.

Iím done.
See the full review

Stianís IFComp 2020 reviews
Having, as one should, duly enjoyed ĎAliasí The Magpie, I was very excited to see this sequel among this yearís IFComp entries. To my further enjoyment, it turns out this sequel is almost just as good! Not that there is anything particularly wrong with it; I just wish it was longer and slightly more challenging, matching the length and difficulty of the original. Completing The Magpie Takes the Train took me 45 minutes.
See the full review

Viv Dunstanís IFComp 2020 Reviews
Ultimately this is a logic puzzle, albeit a very forgiving one, without a time limit that I could spot. So you can try different things without penalty. Though in the end I switched to the walkthrough, to polish things up. I was pleased to see that some of the different commands i tried (different from the exact versions in the walkthrough) worked. And ultimately it was an extremely satisfying ending.

So good stuff, albeit for me some niggles over the conversation mechanism (that is never easy to handle smoothly), and some under implemented bits. But it was extremely competent, and good fun. Thanks!
See the full review

Anssiís IFComp 2020 Reviews
This game is a perfect example of how the player, through trial and error, and through experimenting with the various possibilities that the setting offers, learns more and more about the environment and finally arrives at the goal. Even if this is just one scene, taking place basically in one location only, it is enough of a game due to the careful implementation and the multitude of things you can try. The humor is good - for example the ways in which the Magpie, in the different outfits, compliments the millionaire, cracked me up.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 2
Write a review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Clever and fun one-room game, October 1, 2020
by RadioactiveCrow (Irving, TX)
Related reviews: About 1 hour
"The Magpie Takes the Train" is the authorized sequel to "Alias 'the Magpie'" by J.J. Guest. You once again assume the role of the eponymous gentleman thief, this time riding a train in hopes of stealing a priceless jewel right off the lapel of an aging steel magnate. Pretty much the entire game takes place in a single train car, which had me confused at first as this was the first one-room game I've played. But once you realize that (or after reading this) you will get into the groove of the game's mechanics, which I found very clever and made the puzzles a joy to work out. I feel like there are enough hints along the way, plus a limited number of choices, that if you read carefully and try messing with everything in the usual IF style then you will have the satisfaction of solving the game without hints. However, the author has provided a walkthrough if you need it.

This game also has some features that make it extremely user-friendly and cut out some of the tediousness of other games that require (Spoiler - click to show)waiting for certain conditions to be right before a puzzle can be solved. I also thought the conversation system was good and fit with this size of game perfectly, no playing "guess the topic" that will advance the gameplay.

The prose is excellent and laugh-out-loud funny at times (particularly when you try the amusing things suggested after you beat the game for the first time). Mathbrush is a long time IF author and one of the most passionate and dedicated advocates for IF that I've encountered. So far I've only had the chance to play one of his other games ("In the Service of Mrs. Claus", available from Choice of Games, which will certainly give you a lot of bang for your buck), but I look forward to playing more.

This game is part of IFComp 2020, so if you are reading this in October or November of 2020 head over to ifcomp.org and sign up to be a judge. You can play this and other wonderful games and vote on which authors should win cash prizes!

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Terrific one room parser with involving, multi-faceted puzzles, October 10, 2020
This is a terrific one room parser game in which you use a variety of disguises to steal a ruby right off a lady's lapel. I loved the different reactions each costume prompted, and there were just enough elements (Spoiler - click to show)-(passage of time, the range of costumes, order of operations, a slightly fussy pet bird)- to make for a compelling and involving puzzle without becoming overwhelming or obtuse. This would be a great game to give to a person who wants to get into parsers -- they'll understand the fun without having to toss them right into the deep end.

If you enjoyed The Magpie Takes the Train...

Related Games

People who like The Magpie Takes the Train also gave high ratings to these games:

Moving (On), by quackoquack
Average member rating: (3 ratings)
A game about nostalgia, jumping around in time, and clearing out your childhood room. ...

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams and Steve Meretzky
Average member rating: (164 ratings)
Don't Panic! Relax, because everything you need to know about playing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is contained in the pages of this manual. In this story, you will be Arthur Dent, a rather ordinary earth creature who gets swept...

Love, Hate and the Mysterious Ocean Tower, by C.E.J. Pacian
Average member rating: (38 ratings)

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

The Magpie Takes the Train appears in the following Recommended Lists:

Crime and Heist games by MathBrush
I've played a lot of these recently, so I'm making a list. A contrast to my Detective and Mystery games list and similar to my Espionage and Spy game list, where I put Spider and Web, for instance.


The following polls include votes for The Magpie Takes the Train:

Games for Beginners by WriterBob
I'm looking for games that are suited for adults who are new to IF. My purpose is to share these games with friends and let them get experience IF without being frustrated by mazes or guess-the-verb issues. Please avoid children's games....


This is version 9 of this page, edited by MathBrush on 22 October 2020 at 3:54pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item