Old Jim's Convenience Store

We've inherited a convenience store in the middle of nowhere, which seems to be the premise of more than a few resource management games out there. But our goal here isn't to turn this dilapidated heap of wid-western obscurity into a working concern: we've got to look over the place to find out just what we've got on our hands, and, of course, there's more below the surface than is at first apparent.

I was actually half expecting that we'd be burning the place down for the insurance money.

This hearkens a little bit back to the white house of Zork fame. It's the same sort of idea, this thing about caves full of riches and puzzles hidden underneath a modest piece of American architecture. The puzzles aren't particularly involved, but one or two are just slightly finicky about syntax -- although, quite fortunately, the text lays out the expected syntax when you poke at the puzzle. It's only a fraction of the length of Zork, though.

That said, the framing story actually leaves me feeling a little cold. There's some hints at a personality here and there, but not much of it once we get into the store itself. I'd have liked to have seen a little bit more throughout: our late uncle's life, hints at his secret wealth, and so on. The denouement ties everything up too hastily, in my opinion; by which I mean that it solves way too many problems, some of which I didn't think we actually cared about, in way too few paragraphs.

I kind of imagine this experience like getting down to breakfast late, after everyone else has gone: you've got the last pancake and syrup and a cup of coffee that's just hot enough to be good but not quite hot enough to be great. It's a fragment of a classic, and it'll serve well enough, but I want more.