Micropuzzle (playtesting wanted)

This is not an original story – it’s a remake in Inform 7 of an old (1984) type-in BASIC mini-adventure. As such it does have some “old school” design choices at work. (Including but not limited to being parser-based.)

It’s relatively small (less than 30 rooms and only a few items) and I didn’t want to depart too much from the original, but I’ve expanded the descriptions a little bit and added more scenery and backdrops, and hopefully made everything behave itself with the supremely better parser than what the original had.

I currently consider it in a fully complete state, though of course there’s always room for more polishing and improvement – but that’s what the playtesting is for. :wink:

You can find (and play online) the story at https://www.mirality.co.nz/if/micropuzzle/

This is my first actual IF story release, although I’ve lurked around Inform and toyed with unreleased games internally for a few decades (plus a few published extensions).

All feedback is welcome, either in this thread or through messages.


Playing it. Liked it very much, the narrative is dry but functional and immersive (I much much prefer IF that rely on «show» rather than flowerly «tell»).
The intro is rooms are very good too, you get just the right level of uneasiness before realising what is happening. Good job!

Minor bugs:

  • examine mousehole / enter mousehole
  • An ordinary key ? ← did you mean to leave a space between key and ? or is it a typo?

Ohh a bigger bug:

The key is too large to fit through the mousehole.

(once I collected the key). Does this mean I am stuck? In any case good production, I can’t wait to finish it!

Good catch on examine/enter mousehole. I had intended to do those but must have forgotten.

The ? character after “ordinary key” is a unicode em dash (—); I guess whatever interpreter you’re using can’t display that. You’ll probably see it in quite a few other places as well. I’m not sure if there’s a way I can tell whether the character is considered valid by the interpreter/font or not.

And the key/mousehole interaction is operating correctly; that’s one of the puzzles.

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Silly me, now I get it! Thanks.

No worries. I am using Frotz (which is terminal based), I am switching to Gargoyle-free now.

I’ve just put up a new build which fixes the mousehole. It also asks whether you can see the special characters or not and prints something different if needed.

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More interactions:

  • x model / x model train should work as x train does

Also I need a hint: I am standing in front of the unlocked terminal, with an inventory consisting of a remote control, a cassette, a scrap of paper and an empty bottle. I am not sure what to type or how to use the remote control properly.

About your hint: did you read the scrap of paper?

Or if it’s a verb issue, then the command is TYPE [password], at least that’s one command that works.

Very nice Gavin! I found one typo, where it had “diappears” for “disappears” in the description of End of the Line.

Ah! Thanks matt but I forgot to mention I logged in into the pc succesfully! I don’t know what to type after the log in or how I can use the remote control.

I assume you’ve examined the remote control? There’s somewhere nearby where it can be used, though you may need to aim/point it appropriately.

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Ah OK! Then, what Gavin said.

(The tag for hiding things is “spoiler”–I took the liberty of changing that so your spoiler was hidden the way you wanted.)

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FYI, new build fixes those issues plus a few additional typos I spotted myself.

(“kitchenware” is a better word than “kitchen things”, among others)

Played through this today and I enjoyed it a lot. I had to come here to find the solution to the final puzzle, which felt a little bit guess-the-verb-esque to me, but otherwise this was a lot of fun.

Ok, thanks. I think I know how to improve that a bit.

It does accept two different verbs for that, but perhaps they’re less obvious than I had originally thought. :wink:

John Blythe did a lovely version of this game for BBC Micro recently, with super graphics… https://www.rucksackgames.co.uk/microadv

You can play John Blythe’s version of the game for the BBC Micro online:


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