The Gaffer

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thegaffer.jpgJohnBThe Gaffer is an action-based Flash game by James Green of Black Galleon. You play a chubby warehouse boss who must load boxes onto trucks that pull into the dock. Each stack is outlined on the back of the truck, all you have to do is carry the crates one by one and put them in the right place. It's a very straightforward game that keeps you hooked with its charming presentation and simple gameplay.

As you run back and forth organizing crates you might see a mouse, cat or dog wander into the room. On their own the animals usually don't interfere with your work, but put them together and you've got trouble. The cat will chase the mouse and sometimes knock you down, while the mouse can destroy crates or bite the dog, sending the poor hound running and toppling stacks of boxes. You can use the [Z] key to swat at the animals, or just make sure they're on a truck when it pulls away.

Another interesting feature in The Gaffer is... the elephant. Pressing the [E] key calls the big guy out to trample across the dock, scaring away the other animals and destroying every crate on the screen. Useful if you're overwhelmed or just sick of dealing with the little critters.

Analysis: While the concept of The Gaffer didn't intrigue me at first, the hook was the fantastic music and art direction. It's a treat to both look at and listen to. The game itself is simple and enjoyable, but the pacing is a bit sporadic. Half of the time I felt there was either too much to do or too little. Pressing [B] will make the boxes come a lot faster, which helps, and clever use of the elephant will keep things moving smoothly.

Nice artwork, great music, simple fun. If only working in a real warehouse were this entertaining.

Play The Gaffer


Wow...I'm a total animal person, and I never thought I would harbor such feelings of dislike for a little mouse. Bloody stupid mouse.

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uhm..I don't know how to let the truck move away so that I can load more crates onto another truck? That makes me get zero all the time..:(

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You have to complete the loading. If the truck has 3 ghost boxes (or boxes you need to put on there) it will drive off once you put all the correct boxes in their places.

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i love the music to this game!
the most annoying thing (other than that stupid mouse) was that i only realised at the last moment (before five boxes stacked up and i died) how to stack / unstack piles of four boxes. you have to jump, which i'd forgotten about. maybe ill try again later and get a better score.

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Why is the gaffer not gaffing?

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its a real shame that so much good work was put into a game that has such slow and ponderous mechanics. Sure, its beautiful... but the game play is so slow that I got bored in a hurry. it took way to long to do next to nothing.

close, but no cigar.

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This game was fun for a bit, but it's not easy enough to get rid of the annoyances.

I could imagine having a lot of fun with a game just like this where there were less distractions and more emphasis on economically stacking boxes in such a way as to load trucks as efficiently as possible.

But with the three animals you can never really get into that element in the game.

I made it to the point where the third box color arrives before giving up.

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I'm having a ball! Love the music - I'm very much into the 1930's ragtime/swing type - and it's simple cartoony fun. Load the truck, swat the animals (Fishy: I was cussing out the mouse too, then I discovered the power of the SWAT key :-D), and just generally chill. It's kept my interest for a couple of hours so far; I think it's one I'll be coming back to often after a long day of teaching.

Well done, Mr. Green! And many thanks to JohnB for bringing it to JIG.

Miz Merricat


is the soundtrack original, or did you take cuts from various set pieces? I swear I can almost make out classic Count Basie, but that's NOT quite it. [Nope, not actually a spoiler, but I'm trying to learn how to use the tags ;-) ]

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thanks xadrian, I got it right now. Before that I did noticed of the ghost boxes, but it was a bit weird because I can load more boxes than the required amount of the ghost boxes.So, I thought I must load boxes until the truck is full, only it can get off. But it turns out not this way.
Just like cutem, I did not make good use of the 'jump' button, causing me to end the game when reach the level where it is needed to put more than 3 boxes.
The idea of this game is good, but it's a bit slow I think.

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one more 'interesting' thing is that the dog got onto the truck and the truck then drove it away. But the dog will come back again within a couple of seconds??!! lol!

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dullpunk, it are 2 different trucks looking the same.

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Mouse?! That was more like a huge nasty rat!

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Interesting and fun game...however it is kind of annoying at times that the boxes don't stack exactly where you want them, and you have to spend time restacking them where they should go.

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you can do a lot better

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