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Tinseltown Blues

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:Chris Hayes

GAME DEVELOPER:Freeware

GAME PUBLISHER:Freeware

Copyright 2002, Chris Hayes

Tinseltown Blues is a fun scavenger hunt game in the same style as Infocom’s Hollywood Hijinx, only more fun. David Welbourn says it all in his review at IF-Review:

“I just finished playing Tinseltown Blues. Fun game. You play a scriptwriter whose golden ticket to fame and fortune is a series of scripts you’ve written on the life and times of Walter Mondale. Unhappily for you, a freak accident separates you from your precious scripts and, after a brief period of unconciousness, you find yourself desperately searching the entire studio lot for any trace of them. You must find all seven scripts before 5 pm or all is lost! Now, since this is Paramount Studios, you might briefly be tempted to just go to the Lost and Found and ask the clerk if anyone’s turned in your scripts. But no, this is IF, and there is no Lost and Found. Instead, your scripts will be scattered and hidden in the most unlikely places possible.

So. Not a deep story. It’s a scavenger hunt. With puzzles.

The puzzles are the star attraction here, and they’re a good mix. Good puzzles, too. Part of the fun is getting to use props, costumes, and special effects equipment in fun and devious ways. Most of the puzzles feel fresh, or at least are fresh twists on old favourites. I was particularly fond of one puzzle that I mentally dubbed “Son of the Atomic Chihuahua”.

Happily, I found all of the puzzles to be of medium difficulty, by which I mean that no puzzle was solved instantly at first sight, but all were solved after a reasonable amount of experimentation and persistence. Although I did have three guess-the-verb moments, where I had the right idea but couldn’t quite guess the right syntax to use. Still, eventually, I did guess correctly.

And, if puzzles are the star, then Zork is the co-star. Fans of the Zork universe will be delighted to visit the studio sets for “Zork: The Movie”. At times it really does feel like playing a long lost Infocom classic, especially Hollywood Hijinx (which is also a scavenger hunt puzzlefest set in Hollywood).

A word to the wise: save. If you play like I do, you’ll run out of time after accomplishing only half of your quest. Once you solve a major puzzle, you may wish to restore and replay, optimizing your moves, and then save. I ended up starting from the beginning again, and optimizing my moves from there.

To sum up: a great game for puzzle fans. Fame and fortune can be yours — just find those scripts!”



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