THE INCREDIBLY MILD ADVENTURES OF TOM TRUNDLE
We play as Tom Trundle, a 17-year-old high school junior back in 1987. We actually hear occasionally Tom’s present-day voice as he grants us points for accomplishing various things and thus helping him remember in more detail everything that happened to him during the spring break in March 1987. The introduction gives an insight to Tom’s feelings as the spring break is about to start: partly he is worried about his friend Will who seems worried or uneasy about something, and partly he is expecting to see Anne, presumably his own girlfriend, that same evening. OK, that sounds fair - those two things are something to keep him busy while his parents have gone on a holiday of their own. As the game goes on, however, the seemingly trivial thing that Will asks Tom to do, regarding a girl that Will has a crush on, turns into something more complicated, and Anne, on her part, also presents unexpected problems that Tom has to solve. The tone of the story is naturally juvenile, as seen through the eyes of a 17-year-old guy. With that in mind, there are several good and appropriate descriptions and expressions - for example in the first location description, the study hall, just before the spring break starts: “I was sitting amongst other victims of my state’s education policies. They were making various noises made by students pretending to be quiet.” etc.
The story is rather long, and after two hours, taking a look at the walkthrough to see how much I had left to play, it appeared that I wasn’t even halfway through. So, I would guess that this game might take about 4-5 hours to play through (I didn’t try that; maybe I will do that later.) So, I don’t know how the story ends, but playing up until where I was at two hours in was fun because of the humorous tone of the narrative, even if the subject matter (Tom’s and Will’s relationship problems) were not funny in themselves. Implementation-wise there were no big problems, even if there were some minor rough spots. For example, when opening the locker in the school corridor when I was carrying the keys (I had taken them out of my pocket), “unlock locker” first mentioned “I was already carrying that.” and some similar passages elsewhere. Nothing major, though. Hints were implemented through the “think about (object)” command, which was a good idea.
The portion of the game I was able to play in the allotted time first focused on Tom helping Will, and then that plot line was left hanging while Tom’s trouble with Anne was focused on instead. Undoubtedly the story and the various plot lines will come together nicely once I play to the end, but for now a lot was left unclear (naturally). The included puzzles were good, and playing this was a fun enough experience; the only trouble that I would have with this game was how much there was still left of it after two hours of play. 7 1/2