Reiko's Ramblings and Writings

What I'm reading and writing about lately.

IFComp 2015 Review: Untold Riches

Posted by Reiko on November 16, 2015

This is a review of a game from the 2015 Interactive Fiction Competition. Scoring criteria can be found here.

Untold Riches
Author: Jason Ermer
Format: Glulx

Clever little piece that pokes fun at the absentminded archaeologist trope, with constant references to past escapades (that rarely turned out as intended). It’s relatively simple and well-implemented. I only got stuck at one point because I failed to notice and examine the furniture in the workshop after already having done everything with the water wheel. There’s a critical item buried in the furniture, unfortunately, but it’s mentioned off-handedly in the middle of the room description, so it’s awfully easy to miss.

Other than that, the puzzles are straightforward. The water wheel/electrical setup and the turning head are rather Myst-like, actually, but simpler. The implementation is clean, if rather short, and getting stuck gave me the opportunity to check out the hint menu. Plus, there’s a great xyzzy response! The game ends with an amusing reference to the original Adventure as well.

Time: 30 min
Scoring: base 7, +1 for clever Adventure references, +1 for trope humor, -1 for important furniture buried in room description amid fully straightforward puzzles
Score: 7

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