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To Cage a Magpie Reviews

Author: Lucilla Frost
Date: 2006
TADS


What does AIF stand for? Adult Interactive Fiction. If you likely to be offended by games with sexual content, you are advised not
to open these files.


Reviewed by Grimm Sharlak

Basic Plot:

One of the supporting cast of British Fox and the Celebrity Abductions stars in her own game, here. Waking up from another hard night on the piss, Magpie
vaguely remembers being hired for a job, which you soon learn is to steal some very important documents. As the cunning super-powered thief you have to break
in, get the documents, and break out.

Overall Thoughts:

British Fox and the Celebrity Abductions was a popular game based in a superhero universe, and To Cage a Magpie operates in the very same setting. This time,
however, instead of solving a crime, you’re committing it. This makes the game different from your average AIF, as the goal is more focussed on non-sexual
objectives, rather than “score with chick X”.

Puzzles/Gameplay:

The game plays out kind of like a text-based Thief game. Your goal is to get into a well defended, highly secure house and escape with some documents. And in
a nice touch, the game is truly flexible; there are multiple ways just to get into the house, as well to accomplish the other objectives. The game can be a
bit tricky at times, but due to its short length and your friend and mine: the undo feature, it’s not too taxing. The problems you’ll encounter really are more
along the lines of “how can I do this sneakily” rather than “dammit, the game won’t do what I tell it to!”

The only problem I had with the gameplay were little touches. For starters, the game begins in Magpie’s junk-strewn flat, and in order to get things going you
have to repeat a task an apparently random number of times. This random-number-of-tries issue pops up again when using Magpie’s thieving skills to pick locks
and the like. It can get a bit frustrating to have to repeat a task an unknown number of times when the game has an interesting time limit urging you to hurry.
That time limit is Magpie’s cigarette addiction.

This is the other area where the game can be annoying: I feel like Magpie needs a tab break far too often. If you don’t have a smoke (admittedly, an easy task,
but still) after a while you fail the game. And you also have a limited number of cigarettes. You’ll rarely see the game over from running out of fags but
having to stop what you’re doing to smoke (especially when you’re doing one of the aforementioned repeatable tasks) can be frustrating – although completing
the game allows you to deactivate the lock-picking, at least.

Sex:

Most of the sex in the game is non-interactive, as the inhabitants of the house go about their business without detecting Magpie. The two major sexual
characters have a sort of B&D sort of relationship, and some spankings and canings will take place if you trigger some events.

At one point I was able to interact directly with one of the characters (and I actually got stuck at that point because I didn’t think of it!) and just like
the rest of the sex, the scene is well written and definitely hot stuff.

Technical:

Not much to complain about here. In multiple playthroughs I didn’t come across any bugs or glitches and even the time-based events always worked. Very well
done.

Intangibles:

This certainly is a different AIF game, much as British Fox was. Logical setting, clever puzzles and non-standard AIF sex make this a truly unique game.

Final Thoughts:

A fine follow-up to British Fox and the Celebrity Abductions, To Cage a Magpie is a well crafted, fun little adventure that never gets too hard. While I harped
on them a bit, the frustrations I spoke of truly were minor especially as so much goes on around you during the game!

Rating: A-


 


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