Gleaming the Verb

Kevin Jackson-Mead (2009)


Thereís always been an ago old problem with IF, and thatís the guess-the-verb puzzle. Like: GRAPPLE ROCK WITH HOOK instead of ATTACH HOOK TO ROCK. No one has ever herd of Grapple, but Attach is very common. For the author it seems like it should make sense, but for the player it becomes frustration to the point of putting down the game. Beta testing flushes this sort of thing out, and itís almost always best to work in a standard verb for your puzzle. But in Gleaming the Verb all the rules are broken in this brain twister of a game.

The game is straightforward, thereís a cube you get to interact with using all sorts of nonstandard verbs. And each verb comes from the response of the last interaction, a short sentence that you have to find the cryptic pattern of letters that provide you with the next verb.

It was really fun playing through this game. It felt like a real test of my intellect, seeing if I could find the verb without having to turn to the walkthrough. And I got through most of the game, all but the last puzzle. Here I didnít even know if I had all the words to work with, and no matter what patterns I found I couldnít get anything to come up. Finally I gave in and looked at the walkthrough, and yeah, I was missing one, so I didnít make it all the way.

In the end I scored this game a 7. The puzzle was awesome, and I would love to see more of these games, but there was no story or strong prose, not that the game needed it, but that did affect the overall score bringing it down quite a bit.

This is a quick game that will test you, and if youíre up to it, see if you can try and beat it without turning to the walkthrough. I couldnít, but I had fun trying.