Review: Aunts and Butlers

(Another one I remember from JayIsGames. Never finished it then. Kinda wish I didn’t this time either. Aunts and Butlers - Details (

Not quite, your lordship.

The opening paragraph of Aunts and Butlers immediately sets the tone for this game: silly, jolly punniness played off of British stiff-upper-lipness.
The first part of the game succeeds in keeping up this atmosphere. You play an impoverished young man from a wealthy family. Your filthy rich aunt is coming to visit and you will have to jump through hoops to have a chance to get some money from her so you can pay your debts.

The puzzles are not difficult. The game pretty much tells you what to do, in a polite and British way. The implementation might give some troubles: when trying to interact with something, the game does not differentiate between an object that is not important now or an object that is simply not there.

Up until here, I had great fun trying stuff out and breathing in the fresh British air.

Unfortunately, after solving the bottleneck-opening puzzle at the end of this first part, the game loses its ambiance and slides off into oldschool incoherent silliness (the bad kind). A medieval knight and a starship are involved, among other things.

In the hints for one of these rooms, the author writes that this room was coded at 11pm the night before IF Comp’s deadline. I suspect that he turned to unfunny random madness as a last resort, pushing himself to get something finished to enter in the competition. Pity. I would have loved to see what this game could have been if it had stuck to its first-paragraph principles.



I’d probably never have finished it.


Hello author who goes unnamed in the review!

I finished Aunts and Butlers yesterday evening and I still catch myself thinking: “What if Robin Johnson had let the deadline go by, opting to enter his game in Spring Thing or the next IF Comp instead?”

Despite my rating on IFDB, I really love the premise of your game.


I’d have rushed it on the night before the deadline for Spring Thing or the next IFComp. My ADHD wasn’t diagnosed for another 13 years.

1 Like