Review: The Meteor, The Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet

(The 1996 IFComp winner by Angela M. Horns, an author I had never heard about. A cool caving adventure: The Meteor, the Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet - Details ( )

Cave crawling Ambassador

After three weeks as a guest of the Northland Empire, you’ve had it with these carefully guided official visits and tours designed to show you absolutely nothing of what is really going on in the land. Fortunately, due to a small mishap during an elephant tour, which you had nothing to do with of course, you get an opportunity to search around your lodgings and sniff out the secrets they do not want you to know.

And soon you find the entrance to a cave…

The Meteor, The Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet sets itself firmly in Zorkian territory. It’s a classic and very well done cave-crawl with some explicit references to the caves of Zork.

As soon as you enter the cave halls, you are welcomed by an overwhelming view. Truly one of the most surprising cave-descriptions I have read so far. From here, you explore a small but exquisitely crafted map. There are many differences in level, and you have to be very resourceful to get up or down from one to the other. I prefer this over a 100-room NESW sprawler any day.

The puzzles are clever without being too hard.
A few depend on unusual object-manipulation, many need you to learn a simple magic system with spells that just happen to be tailor-made for the problems you encounter.
I had the strong impression that the author did have a particular order of traversal in mind. If you should skip one of the early locations, choosing to explore deeper first, the puzzles become a lot harder to understand.

The intro and the first part of the midgame are very relaxed, getting the player to trust the game that they can explore and experiment at their leisure. And then Zarfian cruelty strikes. I won’t elaborate, but just watch you inventory, okay?

There’s a nice shift in pace in the endgame, where you need to make your escape by making a mental click to know how to behave under the new circumstances.

A cool game that leans on the cave-crawling tropes and uses them in fun and surprising ways.


Wait, you do know who the author is, right?


What Victor said – also, since you name-check Zork a couple times but not Enchanter, and I’m pretty sure MSLGS is intended as a spiritual successor to the latter, I thought I’d plug that as a classic well worth playing if you haven’t yet gotten around to it! It has two sequels which are also pretty great, though Spellbreaker was way too hard for me.

(I can’t actually compare them to Zork though since I’ve never actually played it! Must remedy that one of these days…)

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The first riddle in this game actually is solving the anagram :laughing:


Ow you guys…

I wondered what the reactions would be. Victor sounds genuinely concerned for my wellbeing.

It’s right there on IFDB :slight_smile:

I’m going to play Enchanter soon. I name-check Zork because I am under the impression that the Enchanter series takes place in the Zork setting?
The magic thing in MSLGS is certainly Enchantian…


Enchanter, Sorcerer and Spellbreaker are considered Zork Sequels more or less and Wishbringer is considered a game that takes place “somewhere” in the Zork universe. So you’ve got quite a way ahead before you arrive at Beyond Zork and Zork Zero. Actually, Zork: The Undiscovered Underground is considered the “final” classic Zork game, even though it’s been released post-Infocom.

So I’ve acquainted myself with the Zork-universe by playing Wishbringer. I’ve had some Zorkian/Enchantian experience by playing The Meteor, The Stone and a Long Glass of Sherbet and The Adventurers’ Museum.

Seems about time I took on the actual Zork and Enchanter trilogies… (and then some…)


Spellbreaker is one of my top ten games. Really good stuff!


Coming from someone who’s played roughly 1.364.213 IF-games, that means a lot.