My favorite 'underdog' of the 10th Interactive Fiction Competition, Goose, Egg, Badger is an ingenious game by Brian Rapp that uses a very clever gimmick that will make you at least chuckle at the author's deviousness once you figure it out ;) This review at SPAG lets on a bit more:
"Brian Rapp's game is unique (at least in my not-so-extensive experiences with modern Interactive Fiction) in several ways. First, the multi-layered reality, through which you can move forwards and backwards, is very interesting. Second, the PC has urges in her inventory, which can be examined for tips on what to accomplish next. Third, the author uses a design gimmick, which is revealed in portions of the built-in tips and in the second walkthrough. I probably wouldn't have noticed this otherwise, and the game would have ranked 8.5 on my scale. I dropped half a point from the base, because it seems the game is mainly a vehicle for this design gimmick (the story is secondary), but because the gimmick appears to be so cleverly integrated beside the lesser solution (I scored 79 points out of 100 in the path I took), the implementation deserves the upward skew.
The credits list numerous beta testers, and it shows. I noticed no flaws in the writing, and very few things that might be considered bugs. My notes show that the ape covers his ears when I'm singing, even though sometimes he wasn't there with me (this seemed to be immediately after finding him, and then returning to the north). It might be nothing. I've been known to misinterpret things before, seeing phantom bugs. [Note: This behavior is actually due to the fact that the ape follows the PC without the game explicitly saying so. --Paul]
I can't really say much else about "Goose, Egg, Badger." I kind of thought it would turn out to be an elaborate version of the old logic puzzle -- take everything across the river one at a time (although the components don't really fit that). It's a puzzle game, and sometimes the solutions seem pretty obscure (I requested in-game hints several times). It's a good game, though, and the innovative gimmicks make it memorable."Reviewed by: Underdogs