The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble

aka: Woodruff and The Schnibble of Azimuth, Woodruff et le Schnibble d'Azimuth, Woodruff i Sznible profesora Azymuta
Moby ID: 2871
Windows 3.x Specs

Description official descriptions

After a devastating atomic war, the world population was nearly annihilated, and the survivors had to hide deep underground. In the meantime, a peaceful race of human-like creatures, the boozooks, populated the Earth. After the humans ascended to the surface again, they started a bloody war against this race. The boozooks were mercilessly destroyed, their culture demolished, and in the end of the war they were enslaved by humans.

The vertical, economically self-sufficient city of Vlurxtrznbnaxl was erected, controlled by a corrupt leader known as BigWig, who oppressed population with heavy taxes and freedom restrictions. The genius Professor Azimuth, sympathetic to the cause of the boozooks, has discovered a mysterious object or entity known as the Schnibble, which apparently could bring peace and prosperity to the world. However, BigWig's henchmen kidnap the professor and even shoot a teddy bear that belongs to his little adopted half-boozook son Woodruff. Applying a device called Viblefrotzer to himself, Woodruff physically ages fifteen years, and feels strong enough to begin a search for his foster father and find a way to dethrone BigWig.

Woodruff is an adventure game with a cartoon-like appearance and many tricky puzzles, similar in art style and design to the Gobliiins series by the same creators. Unlike Gobliiins, this is a full-fledged adventure where the player character can move around freely, explore the large city, and interact with many characters. The interaction with the environment is done with a simple point-and-click system, without separate verb commands. The majority of the puzzles are inventory based; beside items, Woodruff can also use various spells (such as, for example, levitation) as well as ancient boozook formulae, which he has to learn and collect in order to advance in the game.

Spellings

  • Вудруф - Russian spelling
  • וודרף והשניבל של אזימוט - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (Windows 3.x version)

17 People

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 21 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 1 reviews)

Who is the Schnibble everybody keeps talking about? I still have no idea

The Good
Woodruff and the Schnibble of Azimuth (written as Woodruff from here on out) is an adventure game from Coktel Vision, a French company who was acquired by Sierra On-Line in the early Nineties. Although the company created Lost in Time and The Prophecy, gamers would be more familiar with their Gobliiins series. Woodruff is a spiritual successor, since it shares the same game mechanics, as well as the same visual style and eccentric humor.

Having spent centuries underground to escape a nuclear war, the humans have finally returned to Earth's surface to discover a peaceful mutant race known as the Bazooks living near a base of a towering hill, in the middle of the jungle. They attack the Bazooks, killing them while enslaving the rest, then build a city that scales both sides of the hill.

Fast forward to the present, Professor Azimuth has developed a contraption that resembles a pair of headphones while Woodruff plays on the table with his teddy bear. Just before an intruder breaks into the house, Azimuth places the contraption on his son's head and places him inside a box. Woodruff watches in horror as his father is kidnapped by the intruder and Woodruff's beloved teddy is shot at while. Outside, the contraption transforms Woodruff into a teenager with the mind of a child.

The player takes control of Woodruff, who knows a little of his past, with the only thing that comes to his mind is the word “Schnibble”. The player is free to explore the world around him by taking elevators to different areas. The game area is quite large, but Woodruff is restricted to his travels due to a lack of reading skills and the appropriate footwear.

The interface is similar to the Gobliins series, and the game is controlled by the mouse. Clicking the left mouse button on an object makes Woodruff look at it, manipulate it, or pick it up. Do the same thing with a character he meets and he starts a conversation with them. Right-clicking brings up the inventory. There are two types of inventory objects. Those that are individual ones, and those that are sorted into groups (which you can access by clicking on a patterned box). Personally, I think the groups are a neat feature since this means that the inventory itself is not too cluttered and it is restricted to just two rows. Moving the mouse near the top of the screen brings up three icons: the control panel where you save, load, or quit; the aforementioned inventory; and the game map.

Woodruff can pick up anything that isn't nailed down. Two important items that he can pick up is a “Tobozon”, a device that Woodruff can use to communicate with other characters by entering the appropriate code on the keypad. The best thing about the Tobozon is that the code is stored in the directory underneath the viewing screen once Woodruff discovers it, so you don't have to write the code down or memorize it. You will also eventually receive a “Transportozon”, which you need to use to get to places much quicker as the game area is quite large, and without it Woodruff will have to walk for miles.

Woodruff features SVGA graphics, which was a first for any Coktel game. Some of the hand-painted backgrounds are stunning, and the game makes good use of hardware scaling as clicking on one of the characters causes Woodruff to step up and face the character. Also, the inventory has a backdrop that blends in with the main one. The council chambers - where you must gather all the Wiseman in the game – has shades of brown, so the inventory's backdrop reflects this, and I think this looks terrific. Most of the animations are great; and when you don't do anything for ten seconds, or try to do something that's impossible, Woodruff will show his impatience.

There is virtually no background music while you play the game, just ambient sound effects that blend in with the current scene. The effects range from traffic outside Azimuth's apartment to demonic laughter in the temples. More often than not, the sound effects are hilarious to listen to, like when Woodruff pronounces each syllable as he mixes them to create a formula, for example. The game features full speech throughout, delivered by actors that are unknown to this day.

The great thing about Woodruff is that throughout most of the game, you can experiment with different things without the fear of dying. It is only near the end of the game that you can do something stupid, such as becoming a member of the Schnibble Sect. Actually, it is worth dying just to see those amusing illustrations.

The Bad
Most of the puzzles in the game are insanely hard, to the point where people who are new to the adventure will be completely stuck. The first puzzle of the game is relatively easy, since the solution is in a few screens to the right. Examples include the Bluxtre Nut and Wiseman puzzles.

The Bottom Line
Those of you who have already played any game in the Gobiiiins series should feel right at home with Woodruff. The game has the same style of humor and visual style. You are also not restricted to one part of the game world, and there is no chance of dying except near the end. There are many puzzles to solve, but new players can be put off with their high difficulty. Still, this is a game that everyone should enjoy.

Windows 3.x · by Katakis | カタキス (43092) · 2016

Trivia

German version

In the German version of the game, there's a bug. The code to the safe in Boozook Temple that appears on your Tobozon (given by the Boozook Warrior from the past) is wrong. You have to listen carefully to what the Warrior says, and enter the code you HEAR from him, not the one which appears on your Tobozon.

References to the game

In the first level of Gobliiins 4, also designed by Pierre Gilhodes, at Tchoup office you could see the box of The Bizarre Adventures of Woodruff and the Schnibble, an obvious reference to the fact that Woodruff was nickname Goblins 4 by fans because of its similar design and gameplay to those of the Gobliins series.

Awards

  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/996 - Special Award for being the "Tongue Twister of the Year 1995"

Additional information contributed by Ingsoc.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Cravo.

Windows 3.x added by Trixter. Windows added by przygodomania.pl.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, Crawly, Macs Black, Patrick Bregger, 666gonzo666, Zhuzha.

Game added January 2, 2001. Last modified January 21, 2024.