Ted Paladin And The Case Of The Abandoned House is a short puzzle game that turns on the conceit that the environment is a not-quite-correctly-implemented text adventure setting. There are multiple locations, but in conception and scope it’s not terribly far from an escape-the-room game.
In practice, this is much less confusing than it sounds like it might be. A few other games have toyed with riffing on IF implementation as the source of puzzles: Degeneracy, in which the rooms become progressively less well implemented over time; Undo, about a game in a corrupted disk; Cheater, which requires the player to know and use Inform 6 debugging verbs to get through.
Ted Paladin‘s variation of this idea is very short on explanation, story, or world-building of any kind: it’s not clear why half-implemented text adventure environments exist, why they’re being bulldozed, etc. This is not really the point. The point is to offer the player a small handful of set-piece puzzles — some of which are essentially word-play, some of which riff inventively on the way room descriptions and world models work.
Without being terribly ambitious in scope, Ted Paladin is entertaining and solidly built. I didn’t run into any bugs aside from the ones that are intended to be there as part of the “badly implemented house” concept; though the puzzles vary a bit in difficulty, the built-in hints were sufficient to get me over the trickiest moments, and I didn’t need them too often. And though it isn’t large, it does try out a few effects that may have been challenging to accomplish (though I don’t know how flexible Alan is these days).
Makes a fun and inventive lunch-break diversion.
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