Fox, Fowl & Feed by Chris Conroy

This game describes itself as “an interactive exercise in transportation”, but I found it more “an interactive exercise in tedium”. For a game that is written with the sole intention of being frustrating, this one sure hits the nail on the head.

It’s a take on the old puzzle of getting a fox, duck and sack of grain across a river in a rowboat with the added problem of only being able to transport one of them at a time. This is further complicated by the fact that leaving the fox and the duck alone leans to disaster (the fox eats the duck) and leaving the duck and the sack of grain also ends badly. Add this to the fact that if you take the duck over the river first, it becomes bored and swims back… and you have one might irritating game.

There were other things that annoyed me about Fox, Fowl & Feed. In fact, almost everything about the game annoyed me. I’ve played variations on it before and never much liked the idea, but this version seemed designed to be as frustrating as possible. For example, you can exit the boat with OUT but can’t enter it with IN. You can’t row the boat while carrying anything so have to keep dropping things and then picking them up before you leave the boat. I know that, strictly speaking, rowing a boat while carrying a fox might be a trifle awkward, but surely in the interests of keeping the frustration level down a bit, allowing it would be a good idea? Heck, I’ve played games before where I’ve climbed a rope while carrying a grand piano so rowing a boat with a fox in my hands shouldn’t present a problem.

As this felt like a game I’d played a dozen times before, I didn’t play for long and can only wonder at why someone decided to remake it for the comp. If you’ve got the patience for it, and haven’t played anything similar before, you might well like it. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

3 out of 10