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IF COMP 2004 - Goose, Egg, Badger

Game #29: Goose, Egg, Badger, by Brian Rapp
Played On: 10/21/04 (12:10 PM to 2:05 PM)
Unofficial Score: 9.0 (8.0 base with +1.0 skew)

     Brian Rapp's game is unique (at least in my not-so-extensive experiences with modern Interactive Fiction) in several ways. First, the multi-layered reality, through which you can move forwards and backwards, is very interesting. Second, Hope has urges, and these are things you can examine for tips on what to accomplish next. Third, the author uses a design gimmick, which is revealed in portions of the built-in tips and in the second walkthrough. I probably wouldn't have noticed this otherwise, and the game would have ranked 8.5 on my scale. I dropped half a point from the base, because it seems the game is mainly a vehicle for this design gimmick (the story is secondary), but because the gimmick appears to be so cleverly integrated beside the lesser solution (I scored 79 points out of 100 in the path I took), the implementation deserves the upward skew.

     The credits list numerous beta testers, and it shows. I noticed no flaws in the writing, and very few things that might be considered bugs. My notes show that the ape covers his ears when I'm singing, even though sometimes he wasn't there with me (this seemed to be immediately after finding him, and then returning to the north). It might be nothing. I've been known to misinterpret things before, seeing phantom bugs.

     Continuing the somewhat spooky coincidences that link some aspect of each competition entry to mine, Hope is wearing a watch that has sentimental value (because it was her father's, in fact). Either I wasn't very original, or else all the other competition authors peeked at my entry and decided to divide up the various components among them.

     Speaking of coincidences, this is the... hmmm, I have no idea how many now... but it's one of many games to begin with the protagonist waking up (I've done it too -- just seems to be an excessive amount of sleeping going on this year). I'm not the only one to notice it, I think. One guy emailed me about my entry (so far, only the one), and he made the same comment. Somebody else mentioned an interesting similarity between many of the entries (on R.G.I-F), and I bet this is what he meant.

     I can't really say much else about "Goose, Egg, Badger." I kind of thought it would turn out to be an elaborate version of the old logic puzzle -- take everything across the river one at a time (although the components don't really fit that). It's a puzzle game, and sometimes the solutions seem pretty obscure (I requested in-game hints several times). It's a good game, though, and the innovative gimmicks make it memorable.

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