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( Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth )

Reviewed by  Mr. Bill & Lela

Woodruff (with yellow hair) talking to a PasserbyThis game looks and sounds like what might be the result if the creator of 'The Far Side' cartoon decided to make an adventure game.  The graphics and characters are extremely bizarre, so we didn't quite know what to expect when we began.  However we soon found out that underneath all the weird characters and warped humor lay a classic adventure game that will challenge even the most experienced player.  We thoroughly enjoyed it, both for its off-the-wall humor and its demanding puzzles.

When the world is devastated by atomic war, the humans hide underground for safety.  Centuries later they emerge after the earth is finally green again, only to find that a mutant race has taken over, the gentle and peace loving Boozooks.  "It's him, the madman who murdered my teddy bear!............. ..I swear, I'll kill him!"The Boozooks are a weird looking little race, with long noses fore and aft, which may explain why they all talk as if they need to blow their nose.  Of course the humans, not having learned their lesson from the previous debacle, wage war against them, defeat them... and then promptly fiddle with their minds, subjugate and exploit any that survived.

In 'The City' where everyone lives, there is one human, Professor Azimuth, who has been performing time experiments trying to discover a way to help the poor Boozooks, much to the annoyance of the ruling political BigWig.  Everybody knows that Azimuth is doing this, so when he spreads a rumor that a mysterious liberator, the Schnibble, will soon appear, everyone believes that he is creating one.  Unfortunately for him and his small son Woodruff, the BigWig also believes it, and takes Azimuth prisoner. But not before Azimuth slaps one of his time machine caps on his little son's head, and hides him.

The House of HappinessAs the game begins, we see that the time machine cap (which looks suspiciously like a Walkman headset) has instantly matured Woodruff, and he now looks, dresses and acts like a typical teenager.  Emotionally he is still a child in many ways, with the mannerisms of a child.  And of course he hasn't learned to read, and has no memories except for the one of his teddy bear being mercilessly destroyed by the BigWig.  Plus the memory of one word that he doesn't understand:  'Schnibble'.  He wants to find out what that word means, and to find his father.  But he soon discovers that, along the way, he must also overthrow the government and free the Boozooks... by finding and restoring the lost syllables that have been erased from their wise men's memories.

Woodruff's Lady LoveThis is a 3rd person, point and click game, with an easy-to-use interface and a simple inventory.  The puzzles are not easy but they are somewhat logical within the context of the game's bizarre world, and clues about how to solve them and/or what to do next can be found in what people say.  There is also a hint sheet included with some solutions, tips and strategies, and a very helpful User's Guide that should definitely be referred to, even if you don't usually read manuals.

There are many very funny situations and observations about humanity in this game, and some of the puzzles are downright hysterical.  We totally cracked up when Woodruff was so depressed over being rejected by his love interest that we couldn't even get him to move... all he would do was sit on a bench and sigh.  He can get on your nerves after awhile with his annoying antics, like ridiculing you if you take too long to solve a puzzle or try something wrong.  But if you can get past his smart aleck attitude, you will have a lot of fun with this game!

"You might make money if you bet on the Red or the Black... Amen!"
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Developed (1995) by Coktel Vision and published by Sierra-On-Line.  This game is also known as Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth (which is the title used within the game, but is not the one printed on the box, manual or CD).

Rated:   NR   for Not Rated

Minimum System Requirements:  Windows

Where To Buy This Game:

Walkthroughs or Hints:

"Walkthrough" available here!

Mr. Bill's   Adventureland
Copyright  June 2000
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