Although they’re often considered passé, I still have a soft spot for old-school, parser-based adventure games that, like Zork I, involve exploring a dungeon-like environment by solving inventory and set-piece puzzles. “Old Jim’s Convenience Store” is a short, competent example of that genre.

Gameplay: The gameplay is straightforward: By acquiring and then using various tools, the player delves into a cavern beneath a convenience store and finds what’s hidden there. The puzzles aren’t complicated, and they involve using common tools for their intended purpose. There aren’t puzzles about, say, retrieving a key stuck in the keyhole on the opposite side of a door, nor anything as original as (for the time) the T-remover from “Leather Goddess of Phobos.” 5/10.

Mechanics: The puzzles in the game don’t require any cleverness or ingenuity from the player. If there’s any difficulty in the game, it’s finding the required tools in the first place, though they’re all fairly obvious. 5/10.

Presentation: The prose in the game is solid but unremarkable, mostly being a frame for its similar puzzles. There are some significant guess-the-verb problems, such as the problem of crossing a chasm. The expected syntax is there PUT [object] ACROSS CHASM, and variations like PUT [object] ON/IN/OVER CHASM or BRIDGE CHASM WITH [object] are unrecognized. Similarly, a puzzle about retrieving a key in a crack in the floor with a hook and a wire has an obvious solution to the player, but figuring out the precise command needed to execute it takes significant guesswork. 4/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You want a quick, bare-bones game in the old Infocom style.

Score: 5

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