Finding Martin

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XYZZY Awards 2005
Finalist - Best Puzzles and Best Game

Finding Martin is a large puzzle game written in the old-fashioned spirit of fun, written by first-time author Gayla Wennstrom.


Finding Martin
Finding Martin small art.jpg
Author(s) Gayla Wennstrom
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 2005
Authoring system TADS 2
Platform(s) TADS 2
Language(s) English
License(s) Shareware
Multimedia
Color effects none
Graphics none
Sound/Music none
Ratings
Cruelty scale Cruel

How It Begins

First, you are asked to choose from a menu of food preferences (whatever, vegetarian, kosher, etc.). You can change this at any time later with the MENU command.

Second, you may choose to read the general or special instructions for the game. You can use the HELP command to read the instructions later.

The story: Your friend and former college roommate, Martin Kessler, has disappeared and has probably gotten himself into trouble. His sister, Rachel, has asked you to find him. She is certain that normal detective methods would be useless, and only someone weirder than normal (such as yourself) can possibly help.

You are wearing a flannel shirt, khaki trousers, brown shoes, and mismatched socks (one brown, one black); you hope your mismatched socks makes you weird enough to find Martin. You start your search on the doorstep of his unusual New Mexico home.

Notable Features

  • Huge puzzlefest. Lots of gadgets and puzzles.
  • The backstory involves several of Martin's family members and even their pets. Some of it is told via long textdump cutscenes; some is told by direct observation during time travel sequences.
  • Abundant use of game object generation, which may be a problem on computers without sufficient memory. For example, one machine in the game can dispense certain objects as often as you like. Also, during the time travel sequences, the game remembers both what your past selves were carrying and what actions they took.
  • Inventory management can be awkward; there is an inventory limit, no sack object, and some rooms aren't safe to drop objects in.
  • Conversation with NPCs is limited to SAY "[phrase]" TO [person] and SHOW/GIVE [object] to [person].
  • Heavy use of popular and geek culture. Plot elements involve time travel and a missing person rescue, giving homages to Monty Python, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tolkein, the Beatles, and several great physicists, mathematicians, and inventors from history.
  • Whimsy or "a sense of fun" is required to solve some of the puzzles. Acting out idioms literally or imitating the odd actions that NPCs do can often be rewarding.
  • In-game hints are offered in several indirect ways.

Trivia and Comments

  • Most of the game takes place in or near the New Mexico house, but some parts are in New York City, an island near Bora Bora, and in outer space.

Versions

Version 1.12

Links

General info

Reviews