Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Foo Foo

Author: Buster Hudson
Availability: Free, Download
Format: Text Game
Genre: Humor, Mystery, Fantasy / Literature
Rating: Teen

Found at ifdb.tads.org

My Scores (Out of 5):

Writing: 4
Art: N/A (Cover Art: 2.5)
Gameplay: 3.5
Romance: 2 (“Forget it, Jake; it's Fieldtown.”)


Foo Foo is, of all things, a hard-boiled P.I. mystery based on the nursery rhyme “Little Bunny Foo Foo”.  You play Good Fairy, a detective with the FPD who's been tasked with clearing the name of a repeat-offender who swears he really doesn't recall bopping anyone this time.  As you dig deeper, you unearth a conspiracy involving real estate deals, disappearing field mice, and illegal cheese; and somehow, your ex-girlfriend is mixed up in all of this.


The Writing

It boggles the mind how Foo Foo manages to be so silly and so dramatic at the same time.  On the one hand, you're a fairy in glass shoes, dealing with cheese, stuffed dinosaurs, and food that may actually be mud.  On the other hand, beneath this gleefully ridiculous surface is a story of lies, betrayal, and heartbreak that would seem right at home with any “serious” story.  It feels like it's not as much a parody of noir as it is an actual noir story in a very silly setting, and somehow, it works on both levels.

The Art

Like Pytho's Mask, this is a text game, or Interactive Fiction as they're also known.  As such, the only art you'll see is the cover-art when you click “About This Game”.  It's not bad, and the idea of a rabbit's shadow looming menacingly over a mouse does fit the silly-yet-semi-dark tone of the game.

The Gameplay

The puzzles tend towards the “easy” end of the scale, and I like how the hint system is integrated into the game: one of the characters is “partially psychic”, which means he can give you obscure clues that you have to decode.  Of course, if even that's too difficult, then pressing him further will give you a clearer answer.

The game uses multiple-choice dialog.  There are no topics to be brought up, nor any branching dialog trees; your responses seem to be mostly decorative, although there are a couple obvious points where your choice can lead you to a different ending.  This system and the small world-map keep the game very compact, which is both a plus and a minus in my book.  Since there isn't a whole lot to explore, it's difficult for the player to get lost.  It's a good game for beginning IF/text-game players, I think; although the humor and over-all shortness should keep more experienced players from becoming too bored.


Foo Foo is a hilarious love-letter to hard-boiled mysteries that manages to evoke the same feelings you'd likely find in a straight example of the genre.  The gameplay keeps things short and simple so that the player doesn't get lost, and the in-game hint system is amusingly done.  If you're new to text-games, this game is a good way to get your feet wet, and if you're a veteran IF player, it's still an amusing way to pass a few minutes.

These are just the facts, Ma'am...well, actually, no;  they're just my own opinions.  You might think this game is a wish come true, or you might say it stinks like old cheese.  Feel free to present your case in the comments!

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