Tabitha's Spring Thing 2024 Review Corner

Octopus’s Garden by Michael D. Hilborn

This is a cute game! I’ve never played a game with an octopus PC before, and my favorite aspect was the descriptions, which paint such delightful pictures as an octopus snuggled up in a drawer full of sweaters and an octopus sitting on a window ledge high above the city. “You’re splayed out on the hardwood floor” is just perfect too. I also thought the plot was well done; your goal is to get your owner to move back out of her boyfriend’s apartment, and I wondered how I might possibly accomplish that until it became clear that her boyfriend is cheating on her, and thus my goal was to expose him.

I did have some struggles, mostly notably with the faucets as Mike already pointed out in his review. I also thought opening the window latch with the plunger was a bit far-fetched; I don’t think that would actually work IRL, and from the setup described I would have thought my arms would be able to reach it without issue. (Also, minor quibble, but octopus’ limbs are actually arms, not tentacles!) It also got a bit old having to return to my tank every so often—I liked the realism of this, but I wish the game would’ve had me automatically drop everything I was carrying when I tried to get in, so that I wouldn’t have had to type “enter tank. drop all. enter tank.”

I had a little trouble with the endgame, too. Partly because I had completely failed to examine myself in detail, so I missed that I could squirt ink until I turned to the hints for help with the clothesline—that one’s definitely on me. But I also had to use the tip from Mike’s review for getting the winning ending; having to close the bottom drawer seemed pretty unintuitive, and I wasn’t sure why it mattered that I was out of my tank at that point—I would have thought the presence of a stranger’s underwear would take precedence. So overall I found it an enjoyable little game, just with a few hiccups along the way.

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