Review of "Escape from the Arboretum"

Escape from the Arboretum is an interactive fiction game and is © 2002 by Robbies Dog.

Review by David Welbourn (originally posted at Baf's Guide)

A game with many minimally described locations and surreal British hippy grunge. It's like an old Scott Adams adventure, twisted and writ large, but with the power of the TADS engine to make it bearable. Here is a typical room, with its staccato statements and capitalized compass directions:

You are in a short hallway with tatty wallpaper.
There is a small wicker table here.
The hallway leads South to the living room.
There are stairs here leading up.
There is a doorway to the North.

A player might be put off by these old school conventions, and by consequence, it can be difficult to decide where to direct one's focus. Especially since are several unused objects and not every locked door is openable. Also, there are hunger and sleep daemons, but they activate every 200 and 400 turns respectively, so they aren't too odious.

Assuming you can overlook these issues, you may be charmed by the game's humour (try to "dig" anything) and liberal use of Brit-speak ("torch" for flashlight, "leccy" for electricity, etc). And it is a surreal place; did you know you have zombies and slugs for neighbours? Have fun escaping...

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

✍️🏻 See my handwritten notes.