Bigfoot Bluff

I started the 2022 Spring Thing Festival with Bigfoot Bluff by P.B. Parjeter. It looked like a light-hearted, easy to play through game, but I got stuck, and without a walkthrough, I couldn’t finish it.

You start the game as Bigfoot Jr. trying to photograph the cryptid creatures in the park. The game comes with a beautiful pdf map to help orientate you. In this game, you’re part of the paparazzi but don’t have your own camera. Getting one is the first puzzle, blocking off the parking area and wetting the player’s appetite for more.

After the first puzzle, the game opens up. It’s billed as a sandbox game, and you have access to most of the areas. It looks like you need to get 60 points before finding Bigfoot Senior. You gain points in the game, but you can also lose points. Undo has been removed, so the author wants the player to take the point loss and keep plodding on.

I went everywhere I could, and I picked up a lot of objects, following the adage that the adventure takes everything not nailed down. This included the Park Ranger. The game wanted me to lose him, so I dropped him in a dark room and never saw him again. I don’t know if this broke the game or not. Unfortunately, there was no walkthrough provided.

As I started to push harder on the game because I wasn’t making any progress, more of the thin implementation started to show. Like, if you’re going to ask players to put something on a chain, implement the other objects that the player will try, even the ones during a brute force. I also think this is a good place to interject some comedy into any game. I also found some objects with default descriptions. Why is it there? Is it that much of a red herring?

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed this game quite a bit. I like its minimalistic nature, where I should be able to find everything quickly. And I found a lot. However, the game just needs to be implemented a little deeper. It looks like this is the author’s first parser game, it’s a great attempt, but it lacks a bit of direction (I know it’s a sandbox, but it’s also a parser game), and the objects need a bit more work. If they’re red herrings, you might want to remove them. If they work together to form something new, I think they need to be better clued.

This game gets 7 out of 10 stars. It still needs work, but what’s there is very enjoyable. If it had a walkthrough, that would go a long way.

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