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7 Stars IFReview Rating Tookie's Song

IFReviewed by Emily Short on 2006-08-01 04:25 

Game Profile

Jessica Knoch


Authoring System

Release Year

IFR Overall Rating
7 Stars IFR Overall Rating
Played to completion?: Yes
House or Office: Home Office
Rating: 7

Implementation not bad, writing amusing. The puzzles were mostly not especially novel, though I did like the use for the hole in the Space Bar. Otherwise, I wasn't blown away by any startling new developments in that regard. The setting was cute, and sometimes unevenly implemented — I'm not sure why some of these things were Merely Scenery and untouchable, when other similar things in the same rooms were fully developed. (This also brought me to greater clarity on why exactly I'm getting so tired of the Generic House and Office settings. Using one of these encourages authors to feel that they must sketch in a bunch of mandatory rooms with a bunch of mandatory furnishings which are not in themselves of any interest whatsoever. You have a kitchen, so you must have a fridge, a stove, some cabinets, etc. You have a bathroom, so you must have a toilet, a sink, a shower... And because there is no real puzzle or story necessity for any of these items, they're all described with a grudging sketchiness, and essentially they come out looking exactly the same as all the others of their kind in all the other games and aughh... Ah well. As mentioned above re. BOFH, even using a Generic Office is not necessarily the kiss of death to your setting design — as long as you do go to the trouble of writing some interesting descriptions. But if you're bored with your setting, you can damn well bet your players will be too.)

Okay, end of rant. This game in particular didn't really deserve my wrath on that score, and I did think that the home office was kind of amusing, especially in the way that some of the objects were not fully functional. Still, I was hoping, just a little, from the first bit with the weird and the odd doors, that this would be a slightly more serious and consistent game, not because there's anything wrong with lighthearted silliness (which this game pulls off pretty well) but because there were so few games in this competition that bothered to try for a well-developed new kind of setting. For just a little while, I was reminded of one of my favorite books from late childhood, Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard, about a race of elves that live underground.

Also on the good side, this game provides multiple sensible solutions to a couple of things, rather than stupidly disallowing all but one of a set of equally logical courses of action. I liked the water weird, and the puzzle involving the keys was sensible and cool. This game is candy, but it's pretty good candy: amusing if not hilarious, with a decent variety of activities, and easy enough to be played in the allotted time.

Emily Short Profile

IFReviewer Rating
10 Stars IFReviewer Overall Rating

Name Emily Short
Gender Female