“Sugarlawn” is a scavenger hunt set in a Louisiana mansion, with the protagonist trying to explore the mansion while dressed as a chicken to win a prize on a reality television show.

Gameplay: Despite the premise, gameplay is reminiscent of an old-school adventure game, with its focus being exploration and treasure collecting. The game has substantial replay value, both from the puzzles themselves and the optimization problem of getting through the mansion in the minimal amount of time on the in-game (but not real-time) clock 8/10.

Mechanics: As the synopsis above implies, the game doesn’t take itself seriously. Beyond that, though, there is a serious optimization problem for the player to solve: The player has thirty minutes to find the most valuable collection of treaures, with each in-game move taking an appropriate amount of time. Aside from figuring out the routing puzzle, there are also individual puzzles to be solved to obtain certain treasures, as well as a larger puzzles of matching treasures to appropriate locations (cf. the trophy case from Zork I). 9/10.

Presentation: Although it’s fundamentally a puzzlefest, the game is smooth to play throughout and has numerous embellishments (e.g., the dialogue from the television host) to add flavor to the game. The replay value is high, and the style and humor is still fresh after multiple runs through the game. 8/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You like old-school treasure hunts, but would like to play one with more character.

Score: 8

One thought on “Sugarlawn, by Mike Spivey

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