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A Timmy Reid Adventure Reviews
Author: Jonathan R Reid
Date: 2000

Reviewed by David Whyld

The Timmy Reid Adventure undoubtedly ranks as the best of the early games on the ADRIFT downloads page and even though over two years have gone by since it came out it can still hold its own against the best games of today.

The opening smacks of an episode of The Twilight Zone - two boys are sucked through a time warp in a closet and find themselves trapped in the past. Scattered around the past, we are informed, are 21 items that you - as the eponymous Timmy Reid - must collect in order to be returned to your own time. So the adventure begins…

What makes The Timmy Reid Adventure stand out from so many other games is the amount of detail packed into it. Notes from the writer (accessed by typing "show notes" at any time during the game) indicate that the places referred to in the game are real places and the writer has certainly done a commendable job of bringing them to life. It almost feels like you're really there at times. A large amount of hidden extras add to the appeal of the game: the best being the save game feature being disabled if you're mean to your brother. Also amusing is trying to urinate in an outdoors location which leads to you being arrested for juvenile indecent exposure. Hidden extras don't add anything to a game if you fail to find them but it's something worth typing a few strange commands just to see what happens. Finding a hidden extra is often as rewarding in itself as finding something you need to finish the game.

It's easy enough to make progress in The Timmy Reid Adventure but by no means is this an easy game. In part this is due to the considerable amount of tasks that need to be completed to actually get anywhere in the game. Yes, this is a large game. The largest (KB-wise and location-wise) of any of the early ADRIFT games. But persevere and it doesn't take long before your score is shooting up, although don't be surprised if you seem to finish the game with your score being a lot less than the maximum 100%; score points are given for a wide variety of strange tasks: singing in the band shell, picking grapes and several dozen others.

One strange thing - the only real bad thing about the game - involves moving from one location to another. Usually this is simplicity itself yet for some reason in The Timmy Reid Adventure commands like "north", "south", "east" etc don't work. Instead you need to prefix them with "go" or you get hit with a strange message telling you "I think you need to do something else first!" I'm not sure if this is a bug in the system, a side effect of updating the game from Version 3.8 to Version 4 or just a strange way the writer had of making games but it adds an unnecessary amount of frustration to matters.

The Timmy Reid Adventure has a kind of charm that is sadly lacking in so many adventures. It never takes itself too seriously and the welcome addition of the hidden extras make it the sort of game that even after finishing you'll probably want to play a few more times just to see if you can find something you missed. As the writer is never likely to write any more games (as I said before, over two years have gone by since The Timmy Reid Adventure came out), you might as well make the most of this one.

Logic: 9 out of 10
Nicely logical throughout although the problems with directional commands didn't make much sense.

Problems: 7 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
The game crashed with an error message when I tried to open a drawer but aside from that I didn't come across any bugs.

Story: 8 out of 10
Quite an interesting one and more than capable of holding your attention throughout the game.

Characters: 7 out of 10
A whole horde of them. Some can be questioned about a variety of subjects, others don't seem to even have a basic response written for them.

Writing: 8 out of 10
Always above average. 

Game: 8 out of 10
Definitely the best of the earlier ADRIFT games.

Overall: 47 out of 60

Reviewed by Robert Rafgon

The Timmy Reid Adventure comes from the ancient, almost prehistoric ADRIFT times of the year 2000. The game has good qualities but I found too many bugs for it to be really enjoyable. Some of the problems mentioned below may be related to the fact that the game was originally written in ADRIFT version 3.80, but I converted the game to play it in 3.90. However, the lack of availability of a 3.80 runner means that most other current players will be also forced to convert the game. I apologise to the author if the following comments are unjustified, but I am discussing my playing experiences and what I expect other players to also experience. 

The first problem with the Timmy Reid Adventure is that the introduction does not show what the aim of the game is. On my first attempt I wandered around the town without having a clue what was going on. This problem is partly related to the fact that this game is also called the Jonny Reid Adventure Part II and is the sequel to the first part. I have not been able to find a copy of the first part, but typing in "show" and following the menu options can give you a fair idea of what the game was about. For a more specific aim for the Timmy Reid Adventure "show 21 items" works, and reveals that this game is a treasure hunt. These commands show the whole story for the game. The only plot during it is wandering around trying to find the missing items. 

The best feature of the Timmy Reid Adventure is how the game successfully captures a kid's perspective and sense of fun. The writing makes you feel that you are actually wandering around the town. The map is very large, with a logical layout, but this is not surprising, as the author's notes show that the game was modeled on a real place and time. The best implemented location is the cottage at the start, with lots of minor details included. Unfortunately this level of detail is not maintained throughout the game. It almost appears that the further you walk away from the cottage, the fewer objects from the room description are implemented. The pier barely has any objects at all. These locations are generally not vital to the game's progress, but a few more objects would have been an improvement. 

The most annoying feature of the Timmy Reid Adventure will probably become apparent on the first move. Move is the key word here. Whether it is the fault of the conversion or the author, for some reason north, south, east and west do not work in this game. If you type, for example "go north" instead, it will work, but this quickly becomes tiresome, especially when combined with the large map described above. 

There are other serious bugs in the game, including one bug that I think makes it impossible to get two of the twenty-one items. This means that the game is unwinnable. There are also many guess-the-verb moments and illogical puzzles. I have no idea how players were supposed to come up with several of the puzzle solutions. The characters are also not very talkative, apart from on one or two selected topics. 

There is a core of a good game in the Timmy Reid Adventure. The atmosphere is well done and there are lots of ways to have fun without solving puzzles, especially in the amusement park. If you like wandering and experimenting, and do not mind the lack of a resolution, then you may have more fun than me. Ultimately I found the problems meant that I was feeling more annoyed than enjoying myself whilst playing the game. 

SCORE - 3/10 

Reviews should be considered copyrighted by their respective authors.


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