(wme) Eight Squares in the Garden – ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves…

Apr27 Through the Looking Glass was Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  Alice wonder’s what it’s like on the other side of the mirror.  She then is able to pass through it.  She meets the Red Queen there and the queen offers her a throne to her, if she can get to the 8’th square.  There’s also the poem The Jabberwocky which she can only read by holding it up to a mirror.  Reason I mention the poem is here, I will recite a line or two.  Ahem! <clears throat> “’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves, Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;  All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe.  "Beware the Jabberwock, my son!  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!  Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"”  – Okay so I’m like, umm what what, and what?  They call it literary nonsense, like it’s on purpose or something, which it probably is.  In fact supposedly the effect of nonsense is caused by an excess of meaning, rather than the lack of it.  I guess what it means is, that it’s so full of symbolism and meaning that it comes out as nonsense.  Contrariwise they may be using nonsense to cover up their meaning, that is if they’re meaning something, that is supposed to look like it means nothing, thereby masking the meaning.  If you get my, umm… meaning. 

8SquaresInTheGardenSS01 Fireside 7 Games (Roger Tober being the principal part of it), made a game out of part of Looking Glass, called “Eight Squares in the Garden”.  Most adventure games are notoriously simple to play.  That is, I didn’t say easy.  Simple as in their controls and interface.  This is no exception.  In fact this has one of the more simpler interfaces of any adventure game.  It’s just mostly a one-click affair.  If you move your mouse cursor over any interactive object, it will display the name of the object.  To interact, just left-click.  Sometimes you can’t interact with it right away.  For instance it needs an item to work, but to be sure, you can do something with it, if it’s name shows up.  Sometimes you have to go back and talk to characters after you’ve done something or talked to someone else.  Don’t despair if you can’t figure something out, you will never get truly stuck.  Inventory (items you pick up along the way), shows in a bar that drops down when you move your cursor towards the top of the window or screen.  To use items with each other which you  may need to do from time to time, simply drag and drop one object onto another.  (Left click hold down, move the cursor over to the other item then let go.)  You can drag and drop items on top of characters or other items in the scene as well.

8SquaresInTheGardenSS02 The game opens up with Alice in the looking glass world talking to the Red Queen, about chess.  The Queen says Alice can be a queen too, as long as she makes it to the 8th square.  The only way to get there, however, is to ride the train.  Seems simple enough doesn’t it?  So you go over to the train and there’s a pig train-conductor there, and he tells Alice she need’s a ticket to ride this train.  I keep hearing the Beatles “She’s got a ticket to ride, yeah, she’s got a ticket to rii-ii-ide, she’s got a ticket to ride, and she don’t care!”  Well apparently Alice has no ticket and needs to pay Pig Conductor two pence.  (it’s like two cents I guess, although a direct correlation between 19th Century English coinage and 21st Century American coins is not exactly an apples to apples comparison.)  So you’re basically trying to find out how to get this money.  Everyone you ask about earning tells you money doesn’t grow on trees.  Well you’ll have to figure this puzzle out on your own because I don’t want to give any secrets away.  During the course of the short game you’ll meet several different characters, including a caterpillar who’s lost a shoe, a goat with some moonshine (er firewater), and a duck and her ducklings that are in the wrong pecking order.  All in all it was fairly easy to figure out, except the pecking order puzzle.  The author didn’t give you any clues as to what you were supposed to do.  You can talk to the duck and ask her to tell her ducklings to step forward a bit.  Then she has them return to their position.  I will say to keep asking the baby ducks to switch around and you’ll eventually be able to figure it out.  Other than that the only complaint about the  game play I have is sometimes the rooms or screens aren’t set up logically.  Sometimes you walk off the right side of the screen, but also come in the right side of the next screen.  It would be more logical to allow you to leave on the same side of the screen you went in on.  Other than that it’s a cute little game.  Supposedly it’s only part 1 too, so maybe the author will continue the series.

8SquaresInTheGardenSS03 The graphics were made in blender, and it shows an amateur air about it.  Not that it’s not charming in it’s own way.  But it was only one guy who did it (except the music, and voices).  There isn’t a lot to do sound wise, as it’s mostly to do with the voices.  The voice acting is amateur, and you can tell it, but it’s also not cringe-worthy which is a good thing.  With the graphics and sound the way they are it almost looks like a kids game.  Well obviously it was made from a children’s book.  But I think it would appeal to children more than adults.  In fact I don’t think most of the puzzles would be hard for children to figure out either.  The music is actually quite good as well, although it being only one song it sort of gets tired after a while.

Final Analysis:  Not bad for an amateur effort.  I played it through so the story was decent enough.  The room layout needs a bit of work, but other than that, this isn’t a bad game.  Best of all it’s free!

Name: Eight Squares in the Garden

Developer: Fireside 7 Games

Price: Free, baby, Free!

Where you can get it:  On the Eight Squares in the Garden page.

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One Response to “(wme) Eight Squares in the Garden – ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves…”

  1. Nirodha says:

    Hello! Hey, we’re an autism Brady Bunch…. I get to be Carol tuoghh. Loved the poly pantsuits. Are you on FB – there’s a GREAT FB page for the show run by Joseph Mooski. Stern Facebook Superfans. I didn’t hear the re-run of the Lisa G report once. Oh well.Hope your boys are doing well, check out our sponsors at Age of Autism – tons of love, help, hope, knowledge to really move our kids forward.Happy New Year. KIM

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