How long to beat... The Gostak?


Shockingly, the How Long to Beat website does not, in fact, have an entry for a parser-based text adventure published in 2001 (online play link). However, spurred by the recent Mystery Game Tournament finals – although they’d probably not admit a text game – my curiosity has been piqued. Would anyone who’s not played this be willing to give it a go For Science and record how long it takes you to get to zero glauds (being tracked in the top right-hand corner)? It’s not quite finishing the game, but quite close to it.

For Science TM:
      0. Goal is to reach zero glauds

  1. Done preferably without looking things up about this specific game – here is an intro-to-parser-games cheatsheet if you’re completely new to the medium/genre
  2. If you use the hints, could you note which ones?
  3. If it’s taking more than like an hour please don’t feel beholden to keep throwing time at it, I would just as much appreciate knowing how far you’ve gotten in that time?

…I think that’s all. Except that I would be absolutely delighted if anyone at all gave this a go, for the sake of this curiosity of mine :slight_smile: Also, if anyone who has played The Gostak still remembers how long it took them to complete the game their first time, I would be very interested in that as well! Thank you for your forbearance!


dang i was thinking about this game the other day

mostly how i played it for like ten minutes and went “oh this is cool but now isnt the time for me” and then… forgot about it for years. plural.

not a statement on its quality just y’know, i wanted to settle in and really give it my attention and then, er, didnt, because i have greeble brain

this is a v long roundabout way of saying since i’ve got a day off tomorrow i might give this challenge a try!!


That cheatsheet seems spectacularly unhelpful in the case of Gostak.


Yeah, it’s basically only there to put people on even footing with those who have played this style of game before – since, of course, the entire point of the game is to figure out the vocabulary.


I’m plugging away at it between lessons, but can’t say I’ve made it very far just yet. I just discovered two of the cardinal directions…

I’m an ESL teacher so the syntax is easy enough to parse. But it’s slow going. Will report back when I’ve given it some actual time.