Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Discuss text adventures here! The classics like those from Infocom, Magnetic Scrolls, Adventure International and Level 9 and the ones we're making today.

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bryanb
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by bryanb » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:25 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:38 pm
I am not sure what time zone it uses ... but new Trotting Krips review is up. From me, regarding my play through of The Pawn.
Wonderful review. The Pawn is one of those games that can really capture your imagination despite its flaws. Earlier this year, I found a really old gaming notebook of mine in which I'd scrawled notes on about 5 or 6 different games total. The Pawn was one of those games. I can't narrow the notes down to a year, but there was a page devoted to a game of Trade Wars 2002 with a list of planets and sectors that appeared after The Pawn stuff. I have absolutely no memory of ever making a partial map of The Pawn or writing any notes about it, but I totally did. And I'm someone who basically never saves game maps I've drawn (partly because they always look hideous). A map just isn't something I'd normally stick in a gaming notebook, but for The Pawn I did. Why? I dunno...it just seemed special enough to warrant that.

I think a text adventure that starts out well and then becomes too difficult for us to solve can gain a certain mystique in our minds, especially if we return to it again and again over the years. I know I definitely wasn't able to solve most of my favorite Infocom games in year one. When you finally do go back and solve one of those old games you were never quite able to get out of your head, sometimes the payoff you expected never quite materializes. That's always disappointing. To be honest, there are a few games I almost wish I had never solved because they were much better in my imagination than they proved to be in reality. When the payoff IS there, though, that's one of the greatest feelings in the world. It's like finally getting the key to that one room in your house you've never been able to open but which you always felt entitled to explore because it's your own damn house. It's your own damn game and your own damn life and you finally get to find out what happens in the end just like you always wanted.

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by AArdvark » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:05 am

The Pawn was the first text adventure that I rushed home from work because I had thought about it all day and had a dozen new possibilities for solving parts of it and couldn't wait to try them out.

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by pinback » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:25 am

There's something weird going on with the imgur link at the end ("click here"). If you paste that URL into your browser, it works. Heck, if you inspect the link and click on the raw HTML, it works. But if you click on the link in the rendered page, it doesn't, apparently because imgur thinks it's being displayed in a frame:

"Refused to display 'https://imgur.com/a/IBRxnaX' in a frame because it set 'X-Frame-Options' to 'deny'."
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Flack » Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:58 am

AArdvark wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:05 am
The Pawn was the first text adventure that I rushed home from work because I had thought about it all day and had a dozen new possibilities for solving parts of it and couldn't wait to try them out.
The Pawn was my favorite text adventure that I never played. The graphics were absolutely mind blowing, sure. I remember downloading and firing up the game and just marveling at the pictures. For some reason though, I don't think I made it very far at all. In ICJ's review he mentions playing it on an IBM PC. On the C64, the load times were so long that one of my friends dubbed it The Yawn. I don't know the people would remember the game without those graphics. On the next floppy disk in my disk box, next to the Pawn, is another text adventure with graphics called Bored of the Rings, also from 1986. Here's how it looks:

Image

No comparison.
pinback wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:25 am
There's something weird going on with the imgur link at the end ("click here").
The link worked fine for me last night. I checked it again this morning and it still works. I'm using Chrome.
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Ice Cream Jonsey
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:17 am

bryanb wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:25 pm
I think a text adventure that starts out well and then becomes too difficult for us to solve can gain a certain mystique in our minds, especially if we return to it again and again over the years. I know I definitely wasn't able to solve most of my favorite Infocom games in year one. When you finally do go back and solve one of those old games you were never quite able to get out of your head, sometimes the payoff you expected never quite materializes. That's always disappointing. To be honest, there are a few games I almost wish I had never solved because they were much better in my imagination than they proved to be in reality. When the payoff IS there, though, that's one of the greatest feelings in the world. It's like finally getting the key to that one room in your house you've never been able to open but which you always felt entitled to explore because it's your own damn house. It's your own damn game and your own damn life and you finally get to find out what happens in the end just like you always wanted.
Yeah, agreed. I have read enough about Guild of Thieves to think that maybe it's worth finishing, but I know from Roody's old school transcripts that Jinxter falls apart on the last move. So that's a lot of trust to put in ole GoT there.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:18 am

pinback wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:25 am
There's something weird going on with the imgur link at the end ("click here"). If you paste that URL into your browser, it works. Heck, if you inspect the link and click on the raw HTML, it works. But if you click on the link in the rendered page, it doesn't, apparently because imgur thinks it's being displayed in a frame:

"Refused to display '' in a frame because it set 'X-Frame-Options' to 'deny'."
Thanks - I edited to try to inline the album. And I gave it a center tag. Which Wordpress ignored. And I could spend 10 hours doing exactly what Wordpress asked me to do, but that's a little on the nose for this particular review.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:20 am

Flack wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:58 am
On the next floppy disk in my disk box, next to the Pawn, is another text adventure with graphics called Bored of the Rings, also from 1986. Here's how it looks:

Image
There is also, speaking of parody text adventure games, one called Pork. https://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=yi5bx2tt5eienu74 - it really does blow my mind that these things were so huge at one point that people made parody ones like that and Bored of the Rings.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by AArdvark » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:06 pm

The C64 load times were part of the fun. I remember trying a particular method to solve a puzzle and if I was wrong an answer would just pop right up, BUT if I was right the drive would fire up and whirr for a while, adding to the suspense. Sitting there for minutes, wondering if I would get killed or would good things happen.

What I didn't like were the help questions, where you had to type in a humongous series of letters and numbers to get a clear text answer that didn't really help.

Here's one I remember off the top of my head...

Q] "What do I do with the potion?"

(the answers are after a half hour of typing random characters)

A 1] Drink it.

I tried that and it killed me straight off.
so I typed in more characters

A 2] Don't drink it.

Assholes at Magnetic Scrolls think they're funny. I finally figured out that typing in the third answer gave me the help I needed.

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:58 pm

Jesus Christ - that is assholic. I don't remember if The Pawn has undo ( it doesn't have multi step undo) but I did that -- typed all that nonsense out -- and hadn't saved, I'd have been pissed.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by pinback » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:31 am

I'm having trouble picturing this "typing random characters for a half hour" mechanic. What does it really look like?
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by AArdvark » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:15 pm

Image

You have to type all that in in order to get some kind of answer

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by pinback » Tue Nov 05, 2019 4:24 pm

That's the dumbest thing ever.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by AArdvark » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:00 pm

Oh yes, said the bees. And the first two hints are mostly shtick answers just to mess with you. Of course you wouldn't know that until you typed it all in. At one point I was reading the characters into a tape recorder so I could play it back without taking my eyes off the keyboard. I was into this game.

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by pinback » Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:25 pm

It's like an old copy-protection scheme, except it's an enjoyment-protection scheme.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Roody_Yogurt » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:00 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:17 am
Yeah, agreed. I have read enough about Guild of Thieves to think that maybe it's worth finishing, but I know from Roody's old school transcripts that Jinxter falls apart on the last move. So that's a lot of trust to put in ole GoT there.
It was Corruption that I covered on my blog, and actually, I thought it was the best MS ending I've seen, just in that it wasn't completely horrible. I have yet to have beaten Jinxter although I've heard its ending is also disappointing so I haven't trudged through it with a walkthrough (the midgame got to be a bit of a chore). It's funny that several of those games are in that "don't want to go through it even with a walkthrough" category for me.

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:48 am

Ack, my bad, I could have sworn that you were the one that gave me the heads up that the Jinxter ending is not great.

I am going to try to do one TK review a month for the rest of 2019 and 2020, I think that's about the level I can commit to when it comes to playing text games and writing about them. I am glad you refreshed my memory that Corruption has a good ending! That means it is much more likely to be something I go for, was worried that Magnetic Scrolls was sort of the Neal Stephenson in their day regarding terrible endings.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by bryanb » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:38 am

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:48 am
I am going to try to do one TK review a month for the rest of 2019 and 2020, I think that's about the level I can commit to when it comes to playing text games and writing about them.
Yeah, same here. I really do want to regain the ability to turn things up a notch during the competition, but I just don't seem to be able to pump out the reviews like I used to. I'm reading through Flack's advice on writing pages at the moment which is full of great words of wisdom but it seems more geared towards people writing books. All I want to know is how to write one text adventure review a week. Surely there's an elixir of some kind on the market that would do the trick?

At the same time, I want to avoid putting too much pressure on myself to write reviews. That didn't work out great before. One big advantage of having a community site is that we can pick up the slack for one another, but there will probably still be months with no new content from time to time. That's OK.

I wrote a new comp game review! This time it's Under The Sea under the spotlight:

http://trottingkrips.caltrops.com/2019/11/10/under-the-sea-the-treasure-of-the-santa-tortosa-by-heike-borchers/

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by bryanb » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:44 pm

Today I'm going to be changing all the internal site links back to trottingkrips.caltrops.com since that's the URL everyone has been using of late and this will prevent any encounters with domain masking weirdness. I know Robb at first wanted to keep RFTK and Caltrops totally separate, but now I'm thinking we should embrace the association (at least until we start using our domain name again). Is it time to include a link to Caltrops in the Community section? Yep, I think it's time.

What do you guys think is the best way to provide contact information on a website in 2019? I want people to be able to submit essays, reviews, and letters to the site by email or by filling out a form, but ideally prevent excessive spam at the same time. I was hoping Jizaboz's solution of writing (-at-) in place of the @ sign in the email address would be enough to frustrate spambots, but he's already said his public email gets spammed to death so that might not be sufficient. It might be easier to defend a contact form; there are WordPress plugins that integrate contact forms with Akismet and/or we could use a captcha as Paul suggested previously.

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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Flack » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:37 pm

A captcha form will filter a lot of them out. You could also post in the text something like "be sure to include krip in the subject line" and then set up a gmail account with a filter that dumps everything without that word in the subject line.
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Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:49 am

First off, that last review was hilarious. Great work Bryan!

It does bug me that the domain company doesn't support https and they want me to CALL THEM to figure their shit out. As soon as I can get off them and onto something else I will do that.

An association with caltrops is ehhhhh ... we have one guy in the forum right now who is letting loose with the n-word because it's SO EDGY and he CAN'T BELIEVE he was ip banned about it and won't shut up because he is acting like a bitch about it. So I dunno if we want to send text game people over there at the moment.
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