In this short puzzler, you play as someone who unexpectedly inherited a convenience store in rural Kansas from your late Uncle Jim. Although delighted at this chance to move forward in life, you discover that the building is quite isolated on a flat sandy plain and hasn't been used for years. Of course, you still want to look the place over. Who knows what you might find?
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
The ladder has to stay here. You can't take it now.
Brink Of An Underground River
> x dinghy. enter dinghy.
Underwater River (start)
> w.(Need a paddle)
> paddle with peel.
Now you can just use normal directions, ignoring the dinghy.
> ne.(ceiling too low)
Underwater River (middle of lake)
Small Landing Place
> x bench. x rocks. x plank.
> sit on bench.(Can't. Grr.)
> take plank.(Buh-bye useless bench.)
> se. n. n.
South Of Chasm
> x chasm. n. put plank across chasm. n.
North Of Chasm
You automatically take the plank. While you have the plank, you can now ignore the awkwardness of chasm-crossing as you currently ignore paddling in the river.
> x silver key.(on keyring)
> take silver key with hook.(You need a line.)
> read diary.(Learn about nuggets in a safe place.)
> x table. x bed. x clothes.
> sit on bed.(Find and take an iron wire.)
> tie wire to hook. take silver key with hook.(Success!)
> s. s. s. s. s. s.
> x planks. x pickaxe.
> take pickaxe with peel.(Success!)
> n. n. w.
Western Shore Of Underground Lake
> pull lever.(A pebble is in the way.)
> x pebble.
> break pebble with pickaxe.(Success!)
> pull lever. w.
> x chest. take chest.(too heavy)
> unlock chest with silver key.
You find gold nuggets and a final letter from Uncle Jim. You proceed to have a happy successful life running the store.
*** The End ***
This is very much a solo adventure story, but a few other characters are mentioned:
Uncle Jim, of course, left you this store in his will.
Jim's wife died years before he did. They had no children together.
You hire an assistant for the store in the epilogue.
You have store customers that you sometimes give underground tours to in the epilogue.
From the response to ABOUT:
This is a short game written for IFComp 2019. I like writing puzzle-oriented parser games (both in ALAN 3 and Inform 7), and this one should be a typical example.
If you get stuck, consult the walkthrough file distributed together with this game.
Thank you very much to my beta testers Andrew Schultz and Niko Räisänen. All remaining errors and incongruities are entirely my own fault.
(c) 2019 Anssi Räisänen. All rights reserved.
I hope you enjoy!
an aluminum key. You're carrying it. It's supposed to unlock the store's front door, but the lock is too rusty to unlock.
a bottle of oil (containing a small quantity of oil). It's in the trunk of your car. Put the oil in the oil lamp.
a ladder. It's behind the store.
When the ladder's behind the store, you can go up from there to the rooftop and back down again.
However, when the ladder's on the porch, you can't go up from there to the rooftop. Only from behind the store.
Break the store's window with the ladder. That's the only way in.
Put the ladder in the opening revealed by opening the hatch in the store's floor. Now you can go down underground as long as you have a lit lamp.
You cannot take the ladder from its position in the low passage. There's not enough clearance. Fortunately, you won't need to move the ladder again anyway.
a pizza peel. It's one of the items on the store shelves.
Use the peel as a paddle. When in the dinghy, paddle with peel to prove you know to do that. Now you can use the dinghy just by using standard compass directions. You will also embark and disembark automatically.
When in the wide tunnel, take the pickaxe with the peel.
a fishing hook. It's one of the items on the store shelves.
Tie the wire to it to make a hook tied to a wire. (Note: Once they're tied together, you cannot untie them, but that's okay.)
Then, in the secret hideout, take the silver key with the hook.
an oil lamp. It's one of the items on the store shelves. Put oil from the bottle of oil into the lamp. Light the lamp with the matchbook. Now you can see in the dark underground locations.
a matchbox (containing some matches). It's in the store's counter drawer. Light the lamp with the matchbox after you've put oil in the lamp. Note that you don't need to fiddle with the individual matches.
a pickaxe. It's in the boarded nook in the wide tunnel, south of the underground lake.
Acquire the pickaxe by taking it with the pizza peel.
On the western shore, break the pebble that's blocking the lever with the pickaxe.
a plank. It's part of the bench at the small landing place on the northwestern shore of the underground lake. At south of chasm. put the plank across the chasm. Now you can freely cross the chasm at will, as long as you're carrying the plank.
a diary. It's on the table in the secret hideout. You don't need to take it, but you should read it.
an iron wire. Acquire it in the secret hideout by sitting on the bed. Tie it to the hook to make a hook tied to a wire; see hook.
a silver key. It's in a floor crack in the secret hideout. Take the silver key with the hook tied to a wire; see hook and wire. The silver key unlocks the chest in the round cave. Unlocking the chest ends the game in victory.