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Glum Fiddle Reviews
Author: C Henshaw
Date: 2006

Reviewed by Robert Street (Reviews Exchange 8)

Glum Fiddle has an interesting premise, with great writing. Glum Fiddle chose to expand upon the valley theme from the Writing Challenges. The setting and characters are very humorous and the game made a really good first impression. Unfortunately, I found that I became annoyed with the limits of the game whilst I was playing it. 

The game started really well, with a few good puzzles, but then I became progressively more and more stuck, dying again and again. I felt in this game that it was too easy to die without warning, and at times I seemed to be learning from my deaths, rather than being able to predict events before failing once. ADRIFT's standard behaviour of exiting the program made it worse. Games with frequent deaths, like this one, should not make you restart the game every time before being able to restore. The hints were not very useful and I found this a difficult game to complete.

I had a number of problems with phrasing, such as that I had to drop the plank not put it on the chasm. There seemed to be a lack of checking alternatives in the testing of this game. If you stuck to the standard path you were fine, but as soon as you stepped outside the game did not work as well. An example is when I took the plank away from the chasm in case I still needed it, and the giant ended up disappearing somewhere. Another annoyance was that there was a message about an ogre breathing heavily that repeated everywhere after a while. 

I admit that I am probably being harsh on this game, but it annoys me when I keep being killed whilst I am trying to figure out what is going on. Overall this game showed great potential, but I felt it just didn't quite reach it.

SCORE - 6/10

Reviewed by David Whyld (Reviews Exchange 8)

At heart, this is quite an amusing little tale about a young woman embarking on a quest to rescue her parents from a giant called Glum Fiddle, who seems to have abducted them for nothing more sinister than teaching him to read Shakespeare and play chess. Unfortunately, it’s hit by some pretty serious bugs – some strange, some downright bizarre. Examine the vines and I'm asked which vines I mean: the blackberry vines or the massive wrought-iron gate? Elsewhere, I was able to pass through a locked gate by typing GO WEST when W wouldn’t suffice. By far the worst error, and one no doubt caused by the GET command being overridden, came when I tried to pick up some mud and instead found myself taking a pigsty! (Actually, the pigsty never appeared in my inventory but it, along with every static item in the game, can be picked up. Ouch.) The get command override also allowed me to pick up the plank after Glum Fiddle had broken it and drop it over the chasm again.

A few other things arose which I was never really sure were bugs or not. I successfully found my parents and hid in some barrels from them from Glum Fiddle, who promptly fell into a chasm… and was never seen from again. No matter what I did after that, I couldn’t seem to find him again and there also didn’t appear to be any way of progressing the game. Armed with the walkthrough (one of the perks of organising the Comp), I was able to successfully finish the game, but lacking the walkthrough I'm not sure I would have managed it as a fair number of non-obvious commands were required. 

All in all, there's a likeable charm to Glum Fiddle, but it’s also marred by too many bugs (not to mention numerous typos and grammar errors) for me to recommend it. 

4 out of 10

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