IFReviewed by Andrew Plotkin
on 2006-06-25 08:59
This is an unapologetic one-puzzler. Unfortunately, I've seen the puzzle before. Another Old Classic.
There are a lot of nice touches in the writing; particularly the help text, and the description of the (very simple) scenery around you. I bet I can distinguish the ideas the author came up with at age 13 from the ones he added for this Inform version.
The implementation, even more unfortunately, isn't very good; as I've said, a puzzle-box game needs rich mechanics. Saying that "push string" doesn't work unless you're holding it is the sort of non-physical restriction that can't work in a game like this. And there's no clue in the initial description that the strings are hanging from the ceiling, even though this is the whole point of the game.
For that matter, the entire physical basis of the game is questionable. A very long string, dangling from far overhead, doesn't restrict your movement when you're holding on to it. The angle is too small to pull it out of reach. The standard description of this problem is two strings hanging from a room ceiling, nearly their own length apart.
Basically, lots of points for the idea, I still like the no-context presentation, but it's undermined by technicalities.