IFReviewed by Jesse Silverman on 2016-11-13 03:33
While this title is listed as 2009, that is only the translation into English. It is a truly classic, or at least a historically significant game.
The translation is of a port to Inform done in 2007.
However, the game, called Stuga in the original Swedish, was originally written between 1977 and 1982 by three adolescents in Sweden, in BASIC, on a Mainframe. It was mostly done before 1980.
So it is definitely one of the first adventures to have been played after Colossal Caves, one of the very first to be written outside of the United States, and probably the first adventure game written in Swedish. It seems that for a long time it was the most popular Swedish-language text adventures as well, and was probably influential there.
The game was quite large for the time, which was possible because it came from the Mainframe world. You can tell they put a lot of work into it.
It feels like it was written by kids or at least teenagers, and the Inform translation into English maintains the sections with some famous and copyrighted puppets that had to be dropped for a commercial version that came out around 1987.
There is a large outside world, mostly forest and lakes, and a few caves, perhaps not surprising given its origins, and a very large building indeed that is the eponymous cottage of the title. In game it is also referred to as a house as well.
It probably doesn't compare very well to modern efforts done in current times, if at all. However, those who are obsessed with the early days of text adventures, who really like seeing works done by whiz-kids, as well as fans of other-than-English-language text adventures should all realize they can now casually try it out for free and in English.
Expected frustration with lack of an examine command, mostly sparse writing and rather weak parser are all present as expected, but there is a lot here. It is not a very small game.
One interesting bit is that inside the cottage, Forward, Back, Left, Right, Up and Down are the directions of movement, which I believe is the case in Hunter, In Darkness, itself a take on arguably the first "text adventure" ever made, Hunt the Wumpus, but 22 years earlier (and only 5 after Wumpus). I've seen articles covering movement systems other than NSEW compass directions, and this normally isn't mentioned, probably because it was never very well known in English.
In today's world, there's so very many works out there, and so little time. So it is definitely only for those interested in early large text adventures, and a high tolerance for the frustrations justifiably associated with those, overlapped with an interest in those written by teens, but is worth a look if that's you, even if it is just a trivia answer for others.