You are Esme Friggleswick, a would-be-witch, who wishes to become Madam Ingra's new apprentice. However, to achieve this honour you will need to pass a test by stealing Zandor the Sorcerer's magical staff.
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This is one of my most favourite games yet! I have had minimal help from the comments this time around and am happy to see many more descriptions and hints. As others have said, it would be interesting to have more interactivity with the characters involving more than the basic quest. All in all, this is a well-written, fun game and I look forward to Craig's next work!
Having read through what others say, I find I've got very little to add: fantastic settings, interesting characters, and a genuine reason for questing make this an intriguing storyline. As always, Craig's puzzles are challenging (Thanks, Sarah4 for setting me straight!) but once you get your head around it, the game's a lot of fun.
There are a few minor typos and plot bugs (like Madam Ingra being able to converse when she's supposed to be unconscious), but otherwise excellent, as usual. :)
An engrossing story with some fiendish (not to say sadistic -- see comments) puzzles and twists, including a nasty little sting in the tail just when you're starting to pat yourself on the back. I liked Esme Friggleswick very much -- she must surely be a friend of Tiffany Aching -- and it's interesting how playing as a female character subtly changes your approach (I won't say I never tried bashing people, but at least I tried other things first). It's amazing how much plot and puzzle Craig manages to cram into relatively few locations. I've very much enjoyed exploring the vast landscapes in some of his other games, but this one covers such a limited territory that I didn't even need to map it. This does not, emphatically, make the game any easier, however, and I'm sure I'd have failed without the help of expert adventurers Sarah and Ereth -- thank you both again, and thank you, Craig, for another brilliantly-conceived and executed quest. I look forward to the next one.
I'm new to this site and to games made in the Quest format, but The Witch's Apprentice is the third game I've completed (the first one was Alice and the Wishing Tree, followed by The Legend of Robin Hood, and both were played prior to registering).
I love big, sweeping IF with deep emotional reach, but it's always great to take breaks from those kinds of games by playing simpler works designed with amusement as their primary goal. The Witch's Apprentice is such a piece. All of the puzzles were logical, requiring only creative thinking, and the characters were colorful and diverse.
I only wish that it were possible to interact with them in ways that weren't just related to the main objective. I understand, however, that this might be a limitation of the engine (and as I said, I'm unfamiliar with Quest).
I also noticed a few typos here and there, but they're not so frequent that they would ruin the game for anyone. In the future, though, I recommend checking the prose for errors. It's always a good idea to make sure your writing is as polished as possible.
So Lovely to find a new game from you Craig and this was a particular treat, I think it may be one of my favourite of your games yet, and, given how much I have adored every single one of your games so far, that is definitely saying something!
The setting was lovely, plenty of magical and intriguing areas to explore in a large and diverse landscape. I particularly enjoy your epic games where the player is able to roam around and take time to explore and am deeply impress by the way you are able to conjure up large and vivid worlds with your words! The village was a particular delight and I had great fun sifting through the 'lucky dip' tub in the 'Owl and the Pussycat' and bartering with Rumpole in his shop!
The puzzles in this game were particularly challenging and satisfying (even by your own very high standards!), finding the ingredients for the potions was an inspired idea and led to a great deal of fascinating challenges! As always, all of the puzzles, while very tricky, were completely intuitive. There were so many classic puzzles in this game that it is very hard to choose a few highlights, however, figuring out how to get cotton wool, to enter the antique shop, to find dinner for the python, to get a better look at the anthill and to make the staff safe to take were all particularly excellent!
The characters in this game were particularly well-drawn. It was nice to play a character with personality and a genuine motivation (rather than an anonymous adventurer), I genuinely wanted to help Esme in her mission! Also, on a personal note, it's always nice to have a female protagonist! The two witches, shopkeepers, village idiot and eagle were also all great fun too! Zander was also a suitably stagy panto villain and turned out to be far more formidable than I had anticipated!
The whole story was extremely engaging and a delight to play from beginning to end, an absolute tour de force of text adventure making. As always I am deeply impressed by your ability to create such wonderful works of art and your willingness to share them! Can't wait to see what you will come up with next!