cobaltnine: Text reads "There are games here" and the cursor blinks. (interactive fiction)
[personal profile] cobaltnine
These are going to be quick reviews since all but one of the games was a quick play. That's not a value judgement - it's just that I feel a bit silly putting individual reviews in.

The first two were ≤ 5 and the second two > 5 in my votes.

Clue[do], but with a broken personalization option and a map that doesn't map out well on paper. The rooms and the game in general are so barebones I hesitate to consider this a game per se, but more of an implementation or demonstration module for something that could be implemented into a more robust, thoughtful, or themed game.

Drugwars or Lemonade Stand, with chickens and the grandson of Nikolai Tesla.

I had some difficulty judging this one. In fact, I had difficulty playing it at first. Games with pets are tricky for me because I get this over-emotional reaction to anything bad happening to them. The tone of the story is a bit like having a nephew tell you a story, but that nephew's been raised on Ray Bradbury and there's a tinge all-over to this game that hits me somewhere in the sentiment gland. I got a suboptimal ending due to a timer mechanism at the end of the game.

I'd like to see this as an 'intro' game attached to a larger world-building one: one with adult characters with more agency and a broader scope. However, the nature of the prose is well-intentioned and with a creative spirit I enjoy but undisciplined (the failure states are sudden and unambiguous, for instance) but I'd love to see the author build his vision of a pulpy sci-fi world that has a lot of potential - that said, maybe collaboratively with a seasoned writer, someone who can balance his obvious enthusiasm for the sake of a more well-balanced story.

The largest and longest game of the competition, with the best prose. I got a decent sense of the other characters; unfortunately, part of the sense was that they were all kind of jerks in a way and I was the only non-jerk. This prevented me from doing something in one scene that I think screwed me up later on. The readme warned me about entering into failure states and I only half-attended to this. A warning at one stage - in the house with the old man - helped me out, but I think in my playing and catching 'the one thing I missed', I missed another thing, which I did not realize until much later in the game. At that point, checking the walkthrough, I realized that despite my saves, being locked out of talking to the old man again meant I was going to have to go back to a relatively old save-game. Thus the pluses and minuses of a game that allows me to play the scenes in a somewhat non-linear fashion. I do appreciate that in general, I should note.

Also, initially, in the old man's house, I tried to ask Leo to leave (I have an odd sense of politeness about fictional characters!) and I asked the man about Icarus. In the latter, I was kind of expecting him to be angry or sad, and instead I got no response. I think if I had gotten a response, I'd have continued questioning him and stuck around longer.

The description of the statue (the parenthetical part) triggered a personal, internal MST3K dialog for the rest of the game. Whoops. Probably not your intent. But TMI about Poseidon there.
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October 2012

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