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Reviews by sarah4

Review for Marooned
06 Sep 2016
Another spellbinding game from Father. Your ability to create alien and yet familiar worlds and populate those worlds with vividly described characters and locations with relatively few words is extraordinary. The world in this game is intriguing and the puzzles enjoyable and diverse. The game has an excellent sense of pace and, since most of the puzzles are not prohibitively difficult, it keeps moving along at a good pace so that the suspense is not broken. Another wonderfully imagined and executed game.urgency

Review for Small
06 Sep 2016
This is an exquisite piece of work. The world of the game is delightful and is vividly rendered. The puzzles are extremely entertaining and are just the right level of difficulty. I don't want to say too much about the content of the game because I feel that part of the game's charm is its ability to surprise the player with new developments at each turn. This is a truly charming and imaginative game that defies categorisation and will appeal to a wide range of players.

02 Sep 2016
This was an extensive and well-developped game with a vast area to explore and a large cast of characters to interact with. There were ingenious and fiendish puzzles to solve and, given the challenging nature of the game, completing it was deeply satisfying. I think the game would benefit from some polishing. There are numerous undescribed items and quite a few bugs. On top of this, I feel that there are just too many ways to place the game in an unwinnable state without warning the player beforehand and without them knowing that they have done so until much later. I also think some of the commands could be more flexible and that more hints should be available. These are fairly minor quibbles about a very ambitious and well-executed debut game. Well done on your achievement and I hope to play more games from you in the future!

Review for Death at Woodsbane
13 Apr 2015
Hi Craig, I haven't been on this site for a while so I was delighted to return and find not just one, but two, new games from you! This is, as always, an excellent game with many fiendish puzzles, an intriguing and well laid-out setting, interesting characters and a spooky and unsettling storyline. Congratulations on yet another amazing game! I'm off to play your other new game now!

Review for The Tree
22 Oct 2014
This was a meticulously planned and constructed game with a compelling storyline and an intriguing mystery at its core. An impressive amount of world-building has clearly gone into developping the back story of the main character and the world in which they exist and the ways in which this world is gradually revealed to you over the course of the game is very effective. The writing was of a high standard, with locations, objects and landscapes all perfectly described. Also, the language shift after the game's pivotal moment is well conceived and executed. There were many unexpected twists and turns in the unfolding plot, when I began playing the game I could never have predicted its denouement! The puzzles were not extremely difficult, but all were well imagined and implemented and felt organic to the game while offering the player just enough of a challenge to stop you in your tracks while solving it! Congratulations again Father on another excellent game and I look forward to your future masterpieces!

Review for Dancing Storm
12 Aug 2014
Hi Craig, thanks once again for all your help, I feel very silly about the solution to the problem of how to smuggle the stone out of the underworld as I had assumed that particular object was of no further use!

This was, unsurprisingly, another in your catalogue of amazing games. I loved the setting and landscape and appreciated the epic quality of the game. As always, I was deeply impressed by the range of challenging and often fiendishly tricky puzzles you manage to fit into a game and awed by your ability to cconsistently concoct new and interesting puzzles. There are numerous beautifully constructed puzzles in this game all of which feel organic to the game's mood and setting. The landscape of the game was also particularly interesting, diverse, well described and mapped out.

Thanks so much again for another enthralling adventure and I wait, as always, with baited breath for your next masterpiece!

Review for Thyme
01 Jul 2014
This is a very impressive debut game with some ingenious puzzles and a very strong concept as well as some very amusing descriptions. As others have noted, the game is quite short and much of the game is spent trying to solve the mystery of the locked study. However, the length is not a problem as it seems perfectly in keeping with the relatively small world of the game which is very elegantly and precisely constructed. Congratulations on a polished and assured debut Quest game.

Review for The Eye of Mandival
19 Jun 2014
An excellent game with an interesting and well-executed premise and engaging and well developed landscape and characters. The puzzles were varied and often innovative and just challenging enough to keep the player on their toes. It is clear that a great deal of care, time and planning has gone into making this fantastic game.

However, the game's main feature is its sheer, unabashed, glorious sillyness! I had enjoyed your first two games and found 'Shoddy and Pigears' quite amusing', but this is definitely my favourite of your three games because not only are the jokes well-written but they feel organic to the rest of the game, whose whole tone is light-hearted without skimping on puzzles and gameplay in order to focus on getting laughs, which I realise is no mean feat! This is probably my second favourite comic text adventure after 'Doctor Who's 50th Birthday', both games are able to affectionately play with tired old text adventure cliches to create something genuinely fresh, funny and eminently playable!

I just need to replay it now and figure out if there was something else I should have done as the ending suggested I could have tried for a better outcome, I was so focused on retrieving the eye that I didn't look for anything else so I will have another wander through the game and see what I can find!

Congratulations on a true triumph of game creation and I can't wait for your next masterpiece, especially if you continue your trend of making each game better and more ambitious than the last!

Review for The Lunastone
31 May 2014
Thanks again for all of your help Craig, I have now finished the game and achieved the happy ending!

This was yet another wonderfully constructed and meticulously planned game, with a large and ambitious game world, a plethora of fiendish, but always soluble, puzzles and an involving story. The puzzles were all beautifully integrated into the game and it's environment. I was impressed by the way you ensured that the player never gets so caught up in puzzle-solving that they forget their motivation for solving all these puzzles in the first place. The various islands were all well-described and the inclusion of the space ship to provide transport from one island to another was an inspired idea and made for some excellent code-hunting puzzles in order to find the co-ordinates!

Thanks so much again for sharing your masterpieces with us and I wait with bated breath for your next game!

08 May 2014
Thanks so much for all of your patient assistance Grue (if I may call you that!), the last clue was the last I needed, as soon as my opponent began to relax I was able to use the final spell to finish her off!

This was an extraordinary game from start to finish, the considerable amount of world and character building that clearly went into constructing this game are very impressive indeed. The world is fascinating and beautifully described, the characters diverse and their personalities well defined and the storyline is extremely intriguing and engaging. The mystery builds up beautifully and keeps you guessing who is behind these dastardly occurances to the very end! Most important for me however was the very high quality of the puzzles. Although I like to be immersed in the world of a game, I mainly play text adventures for the puzzles, the more puzzles the better, and this game was jam-packed with wonderfully inventive and often fiendishly tricky puzzles of almost every possible type (though thankfully no mazes!). Though I was too dense to spot some of the solutions, all of the puzzles were perfectly soluble and made a great deal of sense in the context of the game, which is so important.

Also, from a personal perspective, I much prefer playing as a female protagonist, I know it's fiction, but always having to play as a male character can get a little tiresome, the all-female game world was also a refreshing change! On a similar note, I appreciated the inclusion of the (at least strongly hinted) romance between Jenny and Mary-Jane, it wasn't made a big fuss of, it was just there, and as a gay girl myself it's just nice to see gay romance dealt with in puzzle-based text adventures at all!

Congratulations again and I wait with bated breath for your future compositions!

Review for Mermaid Bay
16 Mar 2014
Another absolutely wonderful game from one of my two favourite text adventure authors! This game is set in Cornwall, setting for other Peter Edwards masterpieces 'The Enchanted Glade' and 'The Piskie', like its prececessors, this game does a beautiful job of capturing the beauty and mystery of its environment, and, I think, may be my joint favourite of all Peter's games, which is certainly saying something!

Each location is evocatively and perfectly described and combine to build up an easily pictured overall landscape. I was also very impressed by the way you provided descriptions for every object and item of scenery in the game, it was possible to examine pretty much everything mentioned in, or even inferred by, room descriptions which really helped to immerse me in the game and its environment.

The Cornish coast was a joy to explore, the pleasure of discovering secret caverns, interacting with wildwife and poking around a pirate ship wreck was as great as actually solving the puzzles and solving your quest, there is so much rich detail to discover in the world you have created that I would recommend any player to thoroughly explore everything, useful to your mission or not!

Having said all this, the puzzles were as wonderful, challenging and imaginative as always and felt completely organic with the landscape and the adventure, all of the tools needed to solve puzzles were the kind of objects you might logically find in the places they turned up, and all of the solutions made absolute sense and were completely logical, even though I wasn't always clever enough to work them out!

I'm extremely pleased I was able to help the mermaid in the end too, especially as the finale was beautifully written!

I always enjoy the way you are able to work a subtle environmental message into your games, the comments on the rubbish on the beach and the respect the puzzles in your games show for local flora and forna is a very nice touch. Solving this game does involve getting past some creatures, but, I am pleased to report, that no animals need to be hurt in order to win, though you may need to inconvenience an adder and a limpet!

Congratulations on yet another work of text adventure art and I cannot wait for your next adventure! Thanks again for all your help and for sharing your games with us!

25 Feb 2014
Hi Father, many apologies for not returning sooner to leave a review!

I don't usually play games on this site that aren't written by authors whose work I am familiar with and enjoy such as Craig Dutton, Peter Edwards, Privateer and Benjamin, since I got tired of playing games riddled with bugs and spelling which described most of the games by new authors that I played, but, having seen that Charles Scott had left a favourable review on one of your games I thought I'd give your new game a play and I'm extremely glad I did. The humour is not entirely to my taste (this is not a criticism, just an observation), but the descriptions, settings and characters were extremely well realised and the puzzles were fantastic! The game was refreshingly bug-free and played smoothly from beginning to end. I enjoyed the way you handled the train ride between the two towns and was very impressed with your attention to detail, you described most objects, areas and characters, even when they had no direct bearing on the game, which really helped to establish the landscape and storyline. I also enjoyed the plethora of red herrings you threw in which certainly made the game more challenging, even if I did get a bit overwhelmed by the proliferation of useless keys in the fort office!

Congratulations on an excellent sophomore game and I look forward to playing your future endeavors, I am now off to play your first game!

30 Dec 2013
Hi Craig, just finished the game, having finally realised that I was severely over-thinking the solution to the tumbler puzzle!

Congratulations on another fantastic game with a compelling and deeply creepy story, atmospheric and well-realised locations, mysterious and often menacing characters and the type of fiendish but very satisfying puzzles that always make playing your games such an enjoyable challenge! I also appreciated all of the well-executed and integrated red (or should I say 'crimson') herrings which added to the tension and complexity of the game without feeling out of place or like they'd been tacked on! I also enjoyed the trouble you'd gone to to create a back story for the main character and her family and the troubled history of their home village which really helped create a motivation for finishing the game and unravelling the satisfying deneument. Fairytales are a seemingly inexhaustable source of potential alternative interpretations in so many media, because they are both familiar yet often frightening, and I think you used the potential dark and sinister implications of the Little Red Riding Hood tale to excellent effect here!

Congratulations again on another wonderful game and I look forward to more of your marvellous creations in 2014! Happy new year to you and all the other Questers posting here!

Although I'm not much of a Doctor Who officianado, I was drawn to this game for two reasons:
1. I like cake!
2. This game was created by the author of by far the silliest Quest game I have ever played!

This game shares a lot with its predecessor 'Sutekh is Hiding in Your Priory', not least a cameo appearance from the diabolical mummy himself, as well as a preoccupation with Jim Bowen and tea rooms!

It goes without saying that this game is sublimely silly and surreal, but the writing is elegant and inventive, proving that comedy games can be works of art!

There are also a great number of characters to encounter (I presume most of them are Doctor Who companions and antagonists), who can help or hinder you on your epic cake-based quest. There are also a number of puzzles to solve on your travels, though, beware, many actions can lead to sudden, and inventive, death! These puzzles cannot really be solved by logic, however, hints abound so the six timelord-tempting treats should be yours in no time!

However, in many ways the puzzles are incidental to the wider enjoyment of this game, so be sure not to become so focused on pastry-procuring that you forget to explore the game's large and fascinating world!

The writing is beautifully surreal and I particularly enjoyed the Kate Bush reference! The locations are also all richly and exquisitely described.

All-in-all, a very elegant study in nonsense and an absolute joy to play, congratulations and I look forward to your next odd odyssey!

16 Oct 2013
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!

Review for The Zen Garden
11 Sep 2013
Hi Privateer, sorry for not reviewing sooner but I have been away for a couple of weeks. Thanks again for all your help, the calligraphy puzzle was quite exquisite and I wish I had been able to work it out!

This was an absolutely outstanding game, I don't think I can do justice to the quality of the concept, narrative and puzzles in this review, but I will give it a go! I must admit that, when I saw the game description, I had been anticipating a small one or two room puzzle, I was unprepared for the epic scale of the game that unfolded as I accessed more and more locations. As a fan of epic text adventures, this was a very welcome surprise indeed!

This is one of the most impressive, original and challenging text games I have played and I really can't think of any way it could have been improved. Having said all this, there are a few aspects of the game I would like to pick out for particular commendation.

Firstly, the language, locations, objects and characters are beautifully and meticulously described. Even short descriptions are well-executed and the use of imagery from Japanese literature and art is wonderfully integrated into the game. The spelling and grammar are impecable, which is always such a pleasure as poor spelling can mar an otherwise enjoyable game. I greatly appreciate the attention to detail this represents!

Sometimes, beautifully written and descriptive games can be somewhat light on puzzles leaving the player feeling like they are reading a book rather than playing a game, this could not be further from the case with The Zen Garden. There are more puzzles than you can shake a winnowing fan at, and, all of them are exquisitely executed and perfectly integrated into the game environment. Not all of the puzzles are essential to solving the game, however, they all, at the very least, offer you a valuable clue to solving other puzzles. I enjoyed the way that the game was essentially divided into two quests, the solution of the first pointing toward the solution for the second. Many of the puzzles are extremely difficult and do require a great deal of consideration and meditation as the solutions often involve some serious lateral thinking! However, there are a number of helpful hints throughout the game, found by solving side puzzles or asking characters the right questions, which, while they don't hand you the answers on a plate, can give you a useful push in the right direction. The trickyness of the puzzles makes solving them all the more satisfying! A knowledge of Japanese art and haiku is not essential to solving the game, however, I did find recognising some imagery from haikus I'd read and wood cuts and pottery I've come across did give some inspiration for solving some puzzles!

Finally, the locations were extremely evocative and the landscape was incredibly well planned out and realised.

I also greatly appreciated that you made it so accessible and greatly enjoyed the music which added well to the atmosphere!

In summary, a truly wonderful work of art which everyone should play, my only regret is I can only give it 5/5!

Can't wait for your future games after such an amazing debut!

Review for The Piskie
25 Aug 2013
So pleased to see a new game from you Peter, it's been far too long since you posted your last game and I've been getting withdrawal symptoms!

This was an absolutely magical game, the setting was beautiful and the use of language was very evocative. The puzzles were fantastically fiendish and extremely satisfying once solved! They also all made perfect sense and often left me kicking myself when I worked out a solution I should have spotted ages ago! The puzzles were also beautifully integrated into the game and felt very organically linked to the story and setting!

The story, settings and characters were all a delight and I loved the enchanted yet playful tone of the game!

Congratulations on another text adventure masterpiece! It's great to have you back and I can't wait for your future adventures!

Review for Pest
07 Jul 2013
Having come back to the site for the first time in a while yesterday, I noticed that I appear to have completely missed the news that a Quest competition was happening! So, I downloaded the games yesterday and hope that I am not too late to submit my review. Pest was the only one of the two competition entries I have been able to play so I will review it on its own merit rather than in relation to the other competition entry.

Firstly, the game concept and choice of protagonist were intriguing, innovative, and, largely, well implemented. The 'rat's eye' view of the world was fairly well realised and the rat's situation was sympathetically portrayed. The introductory escape from an unseen pursuer is well-constructed and builds tension quite effectively. However, this idea is perhaps used a little too extensively and subsequent nightmare chases become increasingly less suspenseful as the player is quite aware by this point that the danger is imaginary and the stakes, consequently, low.

The puzzles were well-integrated into the game and were perfectly soluble with a little lateral rodent thinking! As far as I could tell it was impossible to lock yourself into an unwinnable situation which is always a bonus. The puzzle involving blocking off the rat's sense of smell and hearing in order to enable it to approach the visitor is a particularly beautifully conceived puzzle.

Though the game was largely played from a rat's perspective, there were a few occasions where the player is able to do and see things which would not have been possible given the height and size of a rat.

There were also a few occasions where it was possible to perform actions out of order leading to confusing and non-sensical responses. For example, if you pull the tapestry down before having knocked over the bag of groceries and distracted the woman from her sweeping, you are told that the falling tapestry has put out the fire under the pot, even though the woman has not started cooking yet.

There are a couple of other small errors such as a phantom second ball of wax appearing at one point of the game and the fact you can climb up the table but not down. The historical detail didn't seem too bad from what I saw, though I very much doubt that a doctor would have been using a hypodermic syringe in 1350, at least in conjunction with a needle, I may be wrong about this though as I'm not an expert in medical history!

Despite all this nit-picking, I thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable game. I played it through from beginning to end in about two hours, and, although I did get stuck a couple of times, I was never so entirely stumped that I lost interest or momentum. The end was a little too dark for my personal tastes, but that is not a criticism of the game per se, though it does perhaps seem a little out of kilter with the earlier tone of the game. However, this was an interesting, well planned and executed game with an engaging premise and protagonist and some ingenious puzzles with a great deal to recommend it and I look forward to your future games!

05 Jul 2013
Hi Craig, so very happy to see a new game from you, I only return to the site ocasionally these days to check if you or Peter Edwards have uploaded a new game so I was absolutely delighted to find this when I popped in yesterday!

The Robin Hood folklore is very fertile ground for re-interpretative fiction and I really enjoyed the way you created a new story for these familiar characters while using existing historical sources and older tellings of the Robin Hood myth as background.

The story was very fast-paced and exciting and the variety of settings and situations helped to keep the momentum going very effectively.

The puzzles were imaginative, challenging and beautifully implemented as usual, and felt very well-integrated into the story! Although many were difficult to solve, the solutions were all perfectly intuitive when I finally figured them out and were never so difficult that they slowed down the momentum of the game. I was also very impressed by how you utilised all the other characters in helping to solve many of the puzzles.

Congratulations again on another fantastic game, so pleased to see you are back and can't wait for your future games!

13 May 2013
Hi Adam, thanks very much for sending over the 5.3 version of EOE, it was very gratefully received, sorry I hadn't replied sooner but I have been away. I appreciate you going to the trouble of helping me to complete this excellent game.

I have now completed the game, the timers did not pose much of a problem for my screen-reader because I have the reading speed set so fast, but, as I have said previously, Sapi, Quest's in-built speech synthesiser, reads at what is, for me, a torturously slow pace and so makes timer-related puzzles very difficult so I'm sure I couldn't have finished this game in 5.4, especially given the high-paced magical siege with the necromancer towards the end of the game!

Anyway, I was very impressed by the game's scope and concept and enjoyed the sections in the castle at the beginning, the town and the druids' village which provided a much-needed respite between the more action-packed sequences of the game. I thought the battles, chases and puzzles were very well-executed and, given the size of the game and the amount of programming that must have gone into it, it is unsurprising that there are some bugs in some parts of the game. I will not go into these here because I believe you have addressed them in the updated version and so they are probably no longer an issue!

All-in-all, a very exciting and enjoyable text adventure with a great deal to recommend it, there are, perhaps, a couple of aspects which could have been handled better, it would have been good to have the opportunity to scribe spells more often, for example.

I very much look forward to your future games!

Thanks again for all your help.

Hi Craig, sorry, I completely forgot to post a review! Thanks again for all your help, as always I was missing something really obvious so thanks for putting up with my constant questions!

This was yet another perfect game from my favourite Text adventure author, brilliant settings, fantastic, fast-paced narrative, evocative descriptions and brilliantly implemented and challenging puzzles! As I mentioned in a previous comment, the setting and themes were just my cup of tea and I was very impressed, as always, by your ability to come up with so many fantastic new ideas for games and still manage to make every new game just as challenging and entertaining as its predecessor. This is a very ambitious game, given the range of locations in which it takes place, and yet you managed to make the switching between disperate settings seem like a completely natural progression in the storyline rather than jarring and sudden scene changes.

Congratulations on yet another game which I can't praise highly enough and I wait with bated breath for your next masterpiece!

15 Mar 2013
Thanks very much for your help Peter, I should have thought of the suspicious liquid in the glass but I had assumed it wasn't potable and so had thrown it in with the mixture I put into the box in the lab to make the diamond!

Anyway, I really loved this game, as I mentioned before, I love mansion house mysteries and treasure hunts and I adore puzzles, and this game had all of these! The puzzles were numerous and well-conceived and executed, just fiendish enough to involve serious thinking but intuitive enough to make perfect sense in the context of the game and location. Some of the most difficult puzzles are the most satisfying when you finally manage to crack them and I am delighted to see there are some fantastically tricky puzzles in this game! The descriptions and atmosphere were well realised and the house was genuinely intriguing!

Congratulations on another excellent game and I look forward to your future adventures!

Review for Captain Jumbo
21 Feb 2013
I don't personally enjoy dark or violent games but I have to admit that the story here was very compelling and the decision to deal with the serious issue of domestic abuse from the perspective of a toddler who only has a very slight understanding of what is going on, is a brave one. I think a lot of games don't make any attempt to show the seriousness of violence in all its forms so I give this game credit for attempting to do this in such a subtle and effective way. There were, however, a few technical issues, for example, the characters do not always leave or enter a room when the text says they are supposed to. For example, after the disturbing scene in the kitchen when the man is supposed to have gone into the bedroom, he is still noted as being in the kitchen. Also, if you fail to go back into the playpen before entering the kitchen,and examine the dad, the description says he is angry with the visitor, despite the fact that the visitor has not yet arrived.

Review for The Four Elements
16 Feb 2013
Short but sweet, spelling and grammar were fine and the room and object descriptions and game premise were well written and thought out. Although there were only five rooms and only a few objects, the puzzles were challenging and engaging enough to make the game a lot of fun to play and there were no bugs I could find, though being able to take the oil and water without seemingly carrying any receptical for them was perhaps a bit jarring. I very much look forward to a much longer game from you in the future as this is extremely promising and, may I recommend 'Island of the Magi' (which can be found on this site) if you haven't played it yet as the atmosphere of your game reminds me of it a little and it is a truly excellent game!

23 Jan 2013
Hi Craig, thanks very much, I feel really silly now, but I have to admit that I had already completed the game without realising! I had found the 'survivor' in the ruins and followed instructions with terrifying consequences, but I had assumed it wasn't the winning ending as I had failed to appease Veronica and had instead angered her so that she destroyed the asylum, I had assumed I needed to get her to leave the asylum. But, it turns out I'd actually got the real ending after all, sorry for driving you mad with questions when I'd already finished!

Anyway, this was yet another amazing game from my favourite author, I'm very easily scared so don't usually play horror games, but this was absolutely 'gripping'! The story was extremely well-conceived and developped and unfolded incredibly effectively as more puzzles were solved. The writing was flawless as usual, with incredibly evocative descriptions which built up to create an atmosphere of pure tension and suspense culminating in an extremely creepy deneument which is likely to leave me with nightmares for some time! I think I had been hoping for a 'happy' ending, which is why I hadn't noticed that I'd finished the game earlier, but the actual ending fits far better with the overall tone and form of the game and is far more effective! The village and locations are also beautifully realised and feel extremely atmospheric. Can't wait for your future games!

Review for The Enchanted Glade
03 Jan 2013
Congratulations on another brilliant game Peter! Although I've enjoyed your other games very much this is definitely my favourite so far! I loved the setting, the descriptions were beautifully written and very evocative and the magical landscapes were lovely (I loved 'Curse' but have a personal preference for less dark settings!) The puzzles were all fantastic too and were all the perfect mix of intuitive and challenging! I am pleased I managed to avoid some of the more cunning traps, particularly that I couldn't bring myself to try and hurt the little frog as he proved to be very helpful! Can't wait for your next game!

08 Dec 2012
Thanks for the help Craig, I was definitely over-thinking that final puzzle! It was a lovely puzzle and I am a bit proud about the fact I spotted the 'lost' pair without having to look up the colours online, probably because I'm terribly nerdy about things like that!

Anyway, as I mentioned in a previous comment, this is yet another amazing game from my favourite text adventure author! I know you said it was only created in a couple of days but it honestly does not feel like that. The setting is intriguing and beautifully mapped out, the descriptions are detailed, evocative and, as always, spelling and grammar are impecable! There are some really beautiful puzzles in this game, the afore mentioned 'witch's house' puzzle is a particular delight, but there are many other treats too, and all of them make sense in the context of the game and, despite often involving some serious thinking to work out, are all perfectly logical! Your use of verbs is also great! As always, I can't praise your games highly enough, it's a great pity that many other text game authors don't take the time and care you do in creating truly engrossing and challenging games! I will wait with bated breath for your future adventures, I'm delighted to hear you are working on them, it would be extremely sad if there were no new Craig Dutton games to look forward to!

29 Nov 2012
A very enjoyable game with lots of fiendish puzzles and an intriguing setting. I enjoyed the way the story gradually unfolded and the gameplay was very intuitive. My only criticism was that certain areas of the game lacked atmosphere which made it a bit difficult to remain immersed in the game all the time. However, as this is probably due to not being able to see the images this is not a serious criticism. Well done again and I look forward to your future games!

Review for HMS Victory
29 Nov 2012
A great game with a lot of rooms to explore and lots of fun puzzles to solve, it's nice to see some more historical games as well! My only problems were the lack of warning about the rats on the lower decks and the fact that I only found out how to get rid of the rats from the magazine by accident and I'm still not sure why what I did worked! However, I'm pretty sure these things were referred to in some of the visual clues I couldn't access so it's not a criticism. I enjoyed the attention to detail in the way the various areas of the ship were depicted with nice authentic touches that added atmosphere. The many red herrings were also fun to sift through! Well done and I look forward to more of your games!

Review for Curse!
29 Nov 2012
Thanks Peter, I had thought that I might need to tempt a rat out of the portcullis to provide a more substantial snack than the spider which I'd been carrying around since the beginning, but just hadn't tried the most obvious way to attract a rat! Anyway, I eventually figured that out and have now finished the game.

Congratulations on a fantastic game, great setting, atmospheric and evocative descriptions and some really lovely, challenging but soluble puzzles make this a great game that I would very highly recommend to anyone looking for entertaining and challenging text adventures. The commands and gameplay were very intuitive which I greatly appreciate. I very much look forward to your future games!

28 Oct 2012
So sorry for taking so long to review this game Craig, have been having some problems getting online! Yet another absolutely amazing game from my favourite text adventure author! Fantastic puzzles as usual and an engrossing storyline. As I said in my previous comment, the Wonderland setting was used to brilliant effect, characters, both new and old, were wonderfully realised and your use of the anarchic 'rules' of Wonderland in creating puzzles was inspired, although some of the solutions may seem a bit obtuse in the 'real' world, they make perfect sense when approached with Wonderland logic! I think the game is probably best played by people who have read both of the novels (though anyone who hasn't done so yet should really rectify that as soon as possible!) but I still think that the game is so well written and constructed that those not familiar with Wonderland could enjoy it, especially as it has such a fine self-contained storyline! The poems were also a beautiful touch as they are one of my favourite aspects of the novels and I loved the way you incorporated them here along with your general writing style which never broke character so I do hope you consider returning to Wonderland one day! Sorry to go on but I'm so impressed, as always, by the quality and complexity of your games and the amount of work that must go into them and I can't wait for your next game!

20 Aug 2012
Thanks for all your help again Craig and congratulations on another completely engrossing text adventure! The puzzles, locations and characters were all brilliantly thought out as usual and the gameplay was flawless (I'm yet to encounter a bug in any of your games!). I was a bit worried that I may not be able to finish the game if seeing the map was necessary as I am visually impaired, but was glad to discover you had made it for decoration only which was very considerate. The puzzles were particularly clever and, despite my occasional inability to spot the obvious, perfectly well flagged and soluble. I enjoyed collecting all the treasures and am very impressed by the way you always manage to weave a well-thought out narrative and wry humour through your games and by your excellent spelling and grammar. I know this must seem to be a pre-requisite of writing a good text game but I have played far too many games on here written by people who, as well as having no clue how to construct an engaging narrative and challenging puzzles, also seem to show an utter disregard for spelling and grammar. I've also read comments complaining about the length of descriptions in perfectly good text adventures when I would have thought that basic reading ability was a pre-requisite of playing text games since good, descriptive text is vital for establishing mood and storyline, I'd put it down to many of the authors and commenters being teenagers, but, as a teenager myself I'm not sure that's an excuse! Sorry to get on my soapbox, just wanted to mention another reason why your games are so superior! Can't wait for the next one!

Review for The Ultimate Museum
24 Jul 2012
I'd somehow managed to miss this little gem of a game, but am very glad I found it eventually! Very well written with good descriptions and intuitive commands and challenging but soluble puzzles. I was completely unprepared for what I thought was a straightforward educational game to take the direction it did but was very impressed with the way your descriptions portrayed the change in atmosphere! Given the number of games on here which seem to ignore the vital importance of grammar, spelling and clear, concise and evocative language in establishing the mood and location of a text adventure, and the players who complain that many excellent games which do stick to these rules are being too 'wordy' it's nice to find another author who seems to understand these maxims so I hope you will consider writing more games!

Review for Murder on the Hill
22 Jul 2012
Many congratulations on another perfect text adventure Craig! The questioning of suspects and gathering of evidence was extremely well handled and the gameplay was intuitive as usual. The story was superbly done, lots of false trails and red herrings, and, although I did work who the murderer was, I did get quite distracted by the photograph which seriously made me doubt my original suspect! Very impressed by how you managed to construct a great storyline and back stories for all the characters, all very in keeping with the time period and genre and of course, what whodunnit would be complete without a suspicious clergyman, retired major, local doctor and rakish fop, great stuff! As always can't wait for your next game!

Review for The Myothian Falcon
15 Jul 2012
Great game, a truly novel approach to the text adventure, I'd usually miss the puzzle-solving elements of the game but the questioning of suspects and travelling between stations more than made up for it and made for a great game. The gameplay, though unfamiliar, was fairly intuitive and the descriptions were very well written and the atmosphere and storyline were very compelling and well developped. I've read a lot of Chandler and Hammett and so am very familiar with the hard-boiled/noir crime genre and thought the futuristic take on the more familiar 1930s American settings of such narratives was a great innovative twist. Look forward to your future games.

Review for Carnival of Shadows
03 Jul 2012
Yet another amazing game from my favourite author! Some really entertaining and challenging puzzles, an intriguing mystery, an involving storyline and a great setting with lots of places to explore. Can't wait for your next game, I'm loving the mystery element of your last two games as I'm a big fan of whodunnits, don't suppose you've considered turning your hand to a classic mansion house golden-age mystery, I think you'd do a fantastic job, though I'm sure your next game will be amazing whatever form it takes!

Review for Moonstone Falls
25 Jun 2012
Thanks for your help as always Craig, managed to finish it quite quickly after your reply, can't believe I hadn't tried the command 'use jack on car'! Another great game with challenging but logical problems and a great storyline and atmosphere. I thought the way you had to build up your memory was very well done and made for a very suspenseful game. All in all another brilliantly written and planned out adventure that everyone should play. My only slight problem with the game was a purely personal one and is no criticism on the game or your skill as a game writer, and that is that I personally don't like too much violence in a game or story and so I was a little uncomfortable at having to shoot someone. Still, it is in character and an integral part of the game and I'm aware that most people are not as sensitive as me!

Review for Island of the Magi
04 Jun 2012
Hi Craig, thanks so much for all your help again, I'd killed the warthog but just couldn't figure out what to do with it, once that was solved the rest fell into place and I now have finished the game.

Another absolutely brilliant text adventure, wonderful descriptions, challenging but logical puzzles, well developped and realised story and setting, another sublime game from the best active author on this site. Other text adventure authors would do well to play all of Craig's games to see how genuinely entertaining, engaging and challenging text adventures should look.

Review for Dragon
23 Apr 2012
Another absolutely brilliant game, great storyline, fun and challenging puzzles and great characters and locations, and, just like your previous games, an absolute masterclass as to how text adventures should be written! One of the very best writers on this website, can't wait for your future games!

11 Apr 2012
A very enjoyable game with lots of clues to send you in various wrong directions. It's easy to get distracted pottering around the priory and its grounds and wasting your time on a wild goose chase but the game can be solved very quickly if you follow the right clues and don't get distracted by red herrings. Obviously your aim is to win the game but I'd recommend wandering around the priory for a while (even if you exceed your 200 turns) just because there's so many fun things to do and clues can be hidden anywhere! Solving the mystery too quickly would mean missing out on most of the fun! An extremely silly and diverting game!

I've finished this now and feel my concerns were justified. I feel this should be in the 'adult' section (or at least carry a trigger warning) as I don't feel that rape, kidnapping, murder and homophobic violence (especially when the game doesn't seem to be dealing with any of this with even a smidgeon of tact or sensitivity) are suitable topics for a generally available game. The ending is offensive on multiple levels and shows a total lack of understanding of the horrifying issues the author is trying to deal with, I'm not saying people should never tackle upsetting or contraversial subjects just that they should be done better than this. On a more positive note, the gameplay has some interesting features I've not seen done before, but it's almost impossible to solve without cheating and huge chunks of the game can't be solved by logic or trial and error, there are also far too many tricks played on the player.

Review for Barbarian
15 Mar 2012
Wonderful game, lots of colourful characters and intriguing puzzles, I'm not usually into games that involve violence but found I was able to enjoy the game despite the fighting elements because there was so much more to it, well done on making such intricate, challenging games!

Review for City of Blood
01 Mar 2012
Can't believe I didn't check the headstones in the graveyard, thanks for that! Thank you very much for the walkthrough Craig, I tried not to look at it too often but there were a few occasions where I would never have been able to work out the puzzles without its help, thanks for taking the trouble to do that. It was another brilliant game anyway, very challenging and well written, clear, detailed descriptions and a good range of characters and locations as well as a well planned out adventure, can't wait for your future games!

Review for Blight of Elantria
21 Feb 2012
Thanks so much for the hints Craig! Have finished the game now and it was brilliant, lots of fiendish puzzles to keep you thinking, some great descriptions and even a bit of humour, a really great game that definitely deserves more attention!

Superb game, fun and challenging! I loved the trophy element too, especially as finding them didn't effect the outcome of the game but was just a nice side quest! I liked all the characters too and look forward to Sir Loin 4! Very well done!