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The Gerbil Riot Of '67
The Guild £2 Feb 1993 YS86
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Tim Kemp
Strange title eh? Strange game! Let me explain... You've been accused of instigating the great Gerbil Riot of 1967, and have been sent to a 'home for the confused'. This home turns out to be an asylum and you've got to escape from it!
    As befits a game of this nature, you'll soon see that the objects, inmates, surrounding locations and situations you find yourself in are all suitably weird and wacky. The first location of this text only game is the Treatment Room. It's a place that the other inmates associate with pain and suffering. You won't have to look far before you find a body slumped on the floor. Examine it and you find a half-empty hypodermic syringe in the arm of the 'sleeping' orderly. It seems that you were responsible for putting him to sleep so it might be a good idea to make your break for freedom right away as I'm sure the Treatment Room holds a nasty surprise should the other orderlies catch you.
    As escape is your main aim, getting out of the first location should be no problem with just a couple of nutty inmates to block your progress, and soon the upper regions of the loony bin will be yours to wander to your heart's content. The inmates, such as Oswald the Ostrich (who thinks he's an ostrich would you believe) and Count Crackers (who's a Dracula fan) are just two examples of the many strange people you'll meet on your travels. They all seem to have objects or traits that will help you progress towards your ultimate goal.
    If you can stay 'sane' long enough while playing you get to solve a decent amount of crazy problems and get to venture out into the asylum grounds where the best characters and objects can be found. You'll meet a squirrel who asks you to construct something for him. Now in most games you get to meet characters who ask favours of you, but what's different here is that the squirrels request involves finding several different objects, combining them and making the resulting object work. In return the squirrel gives you something suitably strange which itself has a use that can only be guessed at until the time to use it becomes glaringly obvious.
    All in all it's a great little game that uses characters, setting, names and objects in a novel combined way. It's a beginners' adventure more than anything else, so if you are new to adventuring, and don't know where to start, Gerbil Riot of '67 is as good a place as any to begin. The fun starts here!

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