Anchorhead on HG101

One of the podcasts that I listen to regularly has just covered Anchorhead. They’ve got a pretty in-depth review style so it is worth a listen.

This is also one of those podcasts where nobody ever swears, FYI.


I just gave it a listen. The hosts admitted they are not too familiar with IF so it is a bit of a disappointment given their more thorough coverage of other games.

The hosts mentioned that “Anchorhead” is pretty open in the beginning, to the point where you don’t actually have to get the key to the house, and you can just spend time wandering the town.

They also mentioned that the game uses variables in some of the puzzles so that you can’t just look up a solution and type it word for word…you have to figure out how the solution applies to the instance of the game you’re in. I guess this is pretty standard but not universal.

The overall conclusion was that the game is good for IF fans but a bad introduction for non-IF fans, especially given the IFDB “Cruel” forgiveness rating. Of course that just means you have to save a lot, and they went into that a bit…apparently the re-release only has one save slot?

Interestingly, one of the hosts, TaxOwlBear, said that he managed to finish it in five hours mostly through trial and error. His main area is strategy games, so I guess that is a transferable skill. (For those who listened to the podcast he is the one with what I think is a German or European accent of some sort.)

They also broke the no swearing rule twice this time, but used “bullcrap” to make up for it.

The same podcast has previously covered “Gunmute” and “The Lurking Horror.”

I haven’t played “Anchorhead” in at least eight years, and I remember stopping after I got stuck in the walls, which I guess was day 3. Googling that, it seems that I am not alone, but beyond that I don’t remember it being too difficult…whereas I have had trouble with supposedly easier games.

As a side note, Michael Gentry’s other game from the same year—“Little Blue Men”— was a big influence on my nonsensical and bureaucratic dystopia in my first game “Dr. Sourpuss.”


5 hours… no chance. Lol
If you want to read some book you would start with some novel, not straight with Shakespeare. This is the same case. I have a couple of transcripts of newbies playing IF as if it were the sims.

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I guess it is the equivalent of speed-reading…probably not too in depth and probably relying on a guide a few times. (I did say mostly through trial and error, not entirely through trial and error.) Getting to the end, not taking in every bit of the game or text.

Are those transcripts up for viewing?

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This is the most large game I had played online collaborative so far. We get into a dead end down in the basilic. I had to replay the game typing orders from an excel walkthrough for about 2 hours to rearch that point.
I am talking about 1998 game.

Our web bot doesn’t create transcripts. I have these game logs as a text wall but are private, not such a Clubfloyd. What happans in webot, remains in webot.

  • Jade

It took me several days just to get stuck…so you are probably right.

The relevant comments start at 14:55…maybe I am mishearing something else as “hours.” Maybe he said five years. The accent is an issue for me.

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