Key & Compass presents:
Sheep Crossing
by Andrew Geng

Sheep Crossing is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 7 and is © 2020 by Andrew Geng. It was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it took 88th place.

In this short game based on a classic puzzle, you must transport a cabbage, a sheep, and a bear across a river using a small boat that can only hold you and one passenger. You are taking them all to Grandmother's house.

This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.

SPOILERS AHEAD. Reading a walkthrough prematurely can sometimes diminish one's enjoyment of an interactive fiction game. Please make an honest effort to play the game before reading this walkthrough.


West bank East bank (to home) (to Grand-mother'shouse)


East bank

In this re-creation of an old chestnut of a puzzle, you must transport three things across a river in a boat that can only hold one of them (and you) at a time. Unfortunately, if the bear is left alone with the sheep, the bear will eat the sheep, and if the sheep is left alone with the cabbage, the sheep will eat the cabbage. But the bear has no interest in the cabbage, so they're safe together.

To solve this puzzle, you need to take the sheep over first, then transport one of the other two next, but take the sheep back across when fetching the third item, and finally bringing the sheep over yet again with the last trip.

CAUTION: You can introduce unwanted difficulties if you interact with your charges too much. The only added wrinkle that you must deal with is that the sheep is initially hungry and uncooperative. Feeding it some grass from the riverbank pacifies it.

> x me. i. (carrying nothing)

> x cabbage. x sheep. x bear. x boat.

> x river. x riverbank. x grass.

> swim. take swimming lessons. xyzzy.

Okay, fine. Let's do this.

> take sheep. (It resists you.)

> take grass. give grass to sheep.

> take sheep.

Note: The game is clever enough to let you just go west and east, without forcing you to type ENTER BOAT explicitly each time. Likewise, you will automatically leave the boat whenever you drop something, so you don't have to type OUT all the time either.

> w.

West bank

> drop sheep. e.

East bank

> take bear. w.

West bank

> drop bear. take sheep. e.

East bank

> drop sheep. take cabbage. w.

West bank

> drop cabbage. e.

East bank

> take sheep. w.

West bank

> drop sheep. w.

*** You proceed happily toward Grandmother's house, with your gifts for her in tow. The day is going well. ***

> amusing



The response to AMUSING, after winning the game, is:

Have you tried...




This is the response to CREDITS:

I am indebted to my testers for their keen eyes that caught many bugs and their mischievous spirits that generated a number of features and easter eggs:



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