ParserComp 2022: Alchemist’s Gold

As an unrepentant thief, your goal is to ransack an alchemist’s house in the woods and leave with as much gold as you can carry. This is a solidly implemented physical-puzzle game, not too long or difficult. I have only one complaint: the one time I was stuck enough on a puzzle to use the hint system, which supposedly gives context-sensitive hints, all it gave me was a general “examine everything and draw a map”.

One thing I appreciated was how much destruction you cause in pursuit of your selfish goals: chopping down a tree here, breaking a lock there, an adorable squirrel betrayed. It’s all fairly minor for an adventure game, really, but it gains some meaning from the fact that you’re doing it all to someone, and the fact that the game doesn’t dwell on it feels like characterization. The player character is basically an AFGNCAAP, but at the same time comes off as callous and irresponsible. And I’m here for it. In the end, you have to avoid the alchemist on his return, provoking a sense of guilt that the player character pointedly doesn’t share.

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