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3 in Three was a puzzle game designed for the Mac, released in 1991, and created by the "famous" Cliff Johnson. The story involves a 3 who was placed in a spreadsheet inadvertently (most likely due to a rounding error) and was subsequently removed, but at the same time, a power surge occurs and damages the computer's innards--including leaving the spreadsheet with a gaping hole in it. Being removed from current use, the 3 is returned to the repository of currently unused numbers, where a logic error (3!=3) is made, and she (I did mention that the number in question is a female, right?) is plunged into the bowels of the computer. Now she must try and undo the damage done by the surge and find her way back to the rest of the numbers.

To do this, she, being your character both literally and figuratively, must solve puzzles of all sorts. Including, but not limited to:

Perhaps the oddest puzzle, and most enjoyable in my view, was the one known as "For Letter or Worse," where the 3 had to find a letter that made a synonym of a given noun into another synonym for another word. Confusing? Try this one on for size:

What letter makes a taxi complain?


Give up? You can find the answer at the bottom of this node.

After solving all of the available puzzles, the 3 must take components from the puzzles that she solved to solve an even larger metapuzzle. But first she has to solve a puzzle known as the "The Letter Legislature," another Einstein's riddle like puzzle which is only unlocked once she solved all of the puzzles up to that point in the game.

Despite being quite popular with Mac gamers, 3 in Three was never ported to the PC. Why? Well, it's certainly not due to a lack of trying on Cliff's part! First, his publisher, Cinemaware, was going to do a full conversion with a language designed to convert graphics heavy Mac applications, which 3 in Three certainly was, but they promptly went bankrupt. Then another company Inline Design decided to give it a shot but with a third party who had no experience converting graphical Mac applications. This, of course, would not do for Cliff, so he declined. It didn't really matter though, mainly because Inline Design also went bankrupt shortly after Cliff declined.

Despite time, the game has weathered quite well in both the game play and graphics departments. The only problem with this game is finding a Mac old enough to play it on. Thankfully, the Executor emulator plays it almost perfectly. And, to make everything even better. Cliff has released the game for free on his website. You can download this game as well as his other games The Fool's Errand and At the Carnival at http://www.thefoolsgold.com/downloads/index.htm.

R makes a CAB CRAB. Get it? =p

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