I’m a rather picky fan of interactive fiction. I really love parsers as a way of immersing oneself in an adventure, yet some of the supposed IF classics just seem plain boring and lacking detail to me. And while contemporary popular IFs are generally much better realized in the aspect of giving a large amount of descriptions and interactivity, lots of those I had tried (usually award-winners) fail to present an engaging enough story. Still, for some reason I had unforgettably great experiences with several different titles (both well and lesser known, both modern and classic) like Zork, Lost in New York and Frederick Pohl’s Gateway (OK, that last one has some graphics, but it plays like an IF none the less). And now Lost Pig joins that list.

The storyline starts something like this…

Pig lost! Boss say that it Grunk fault. Say Grunk forget about closing gate. Maybe boss right. Grunk not remember forgetting, but maybe Grunk just forget. Boss say Grunk go find pig, bring it back. Him say, if Grunk not bring back pig, not bring back Grunk either. Grunk like working at pig farm, so now Grunk need find pig.

Lost Pig
And Place Under Ground
Release 2 / Serial number 080406 / Inform v6.30 6/11 / ZCODE-1-070917-994E

Grunk think that pig probably go this way. It hard to tell at night time, because moon not bright as sun. There forest to east and north. It even darker there, and Grunk hear lots of strange animal. West of Grunk, there big field with little stone wall. Farm back to south.

Grunk orc. Big and green and wearing pants.


Lost Pig (And Place Under Ground) is a short, freeware fantasy IF written in Inform and is truly just one click away as it is embedded into its official website. It is a really charming experience as you enter a mind of a naive orc who expresses his thoughts in simple sentences similar to the commands one types in IF games. The quest for the lost pig leads him into and underground complex (relax, it’s not one of the type in which you get lost) where he will have some close encounters with ancient alchemy. It’s a story filled with humor as well as believable characters and settings that should appeal to most gamers.

LP is a very player-friendly adventure game avoiding obscure puzzles and offering plenty of hints. What’s more, I found the amount of details and the level of interactivity in the game truly amazing and (what is equally important) it’s done in a way that adds to the gameplay instead of confusing the player about what to do next. While you can’t really get stuck in the game, you can make things a bit more complicated for yourself, for example by eating various inventory items in your possession. Actually, you have the choice to really mess around with your environment (dozens upon dozens of actions have been covered in brilliant ways by the game’s creator). The icing on the cake though are definitely the NPCs. There are not many in the game, but they are truly alive thanks to the seemingly inexhaustible number of special behaviors. The pig’s reactions to what you do are already a masterpiece. And then there’s the character that you can truly build a relationship with based on the way you behave…

Overall, Lost Pig is a slick little beast with a personality that can make your day easily brighter. It goes highly recommended.

My Score: 5 of 5 starks