Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

IF 2009 – Grounded in Space

October 8, 2009

Grounded in Space

If you want to tell a lot of backstory, just text dump?   Don’t make me feel stupid for fumbling around for the noun/verb combination you’re willing to accept to _start_ the damn game.  This happened in Interface too.  It must be a trend in IF.  I still don’t have to like it.  WTF did that accomplish?  Especially for a 1 puzzle game.  Why was this little vignette even needed?  As long as this game was it could have easily been ‘… Now you’ve done it and you’re stuck on this mining ship…’. (more…)


IF 2009 – Earl Grey

October 5, 2009

Earl Grey

I’m probably going to get spoilery in this review as to touch on the points in this game that I ABSOLUTELY LOVED.  So I will try and spoil less in the beginning and more at the end.   But you have been warned.

I loved Earl Grey.   It was atmospheric.  It was the first game I’ve played this year that really caught me into the game, and made me FEEL.  The descriptions and the prose used is flowery but still serves to create a wonderful picture of the game universe.   I got vivid pictures from every location I visited.  Locations are used sparsely.   This game does something I love in IF, that each new ‘section’ is distinctly demarked, and you don’t need ‘anything’ from one section to advance to the next.   And each ‘section’ or puzzle series is clearly demarked for you.  I find this to be wonderful.


IF 2009 – The Ascot

October 5, 2009

The Ascot

This is simply a yes/no game.  Or ‘Shake’ and ‘Nod’ which delightfully work in the parser as well.  This game is written very well, the storytelling is pretty good.  This is probably the first game of the competition that I would actually recommend to a friend to play.  Maybe Interface, but this game for sure.   The game is pretty madcap in it’s approach, all in all.  Normal world logic doesn’t really work on the game, but it does maintain it’s own internal logic.   Plus the cost of failure is pretty low, as there are only about 2 dozen choices in the whole game.  I did enjoy this a lot.  It was a good diversion, probably a bit short.

IF 2009 – The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man

October 4, 2009

The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man

Okay.  If this doesn’t involve at least one locker room I’m going to be very sad.  Actually it turns out not to involve very much at all.  Our character must be pretty dumb if he spent all this time making himself invisible, and then has these sort of obstacles to overcome.

Okay, there’s a sort of unfair death right off the bat.  It seems sort of.. well, unfair I guess.  You open the oven, see a pizza, and try and eat it.   Seems logical to me.  Oh well.   I guess it factors into a puzzle later that it can kill you.  Finding things out by death is somewhat a tradition.

I took a break in playing this.  Much of the initial exploration and tracing around took place on Saturday, then I picked the game up again on Sunday.   Where upon I figured out that none of the ‘backwards’ exits are listed in the room descriptions.   Rrrr.   So more guess the direction to get back to my house.

After that, I wandered around for a while, read some spoiler.   Wandered, read a little more spoiler.   Decided the game wasn’t really worth it.  The location descriptions are very sparse.  The game does a pretty good job of making you get into the part you’re playing, but the game’s logic just isn’t for me, and I don’t see much of a point in continuing to play the game if I’m just following the walkthrough.  No bugs I could find.

IF 2009 – Gleaming the Verb

October 3, 2009

Gleaming the Verb

I would give the blurb, but there seems like there is none.

Okay, full disclosure here, I read about 4 reviews of this before I played.  Maybe that colored my impression, but I seriously doubt it.  There’s just not a lot here to impress.


IF 2009 – Byzantine Perspective

October 3, 2009

Byzantine Perspective

Burb says: Your task is simple enough. Just nab the chalice.


Interactive Fiction 2009 Judging

October 3, 2009

So, I was inspired to start judging the annual Interactive Fiction contest again.  I’ve been playing IF for a long time now, but I’ve never entered the contest or, really, made a game.  Well, made a game that wasn’t hello world.   Anyway, you should see them here.   I judged 2 years ago, and I seem to remember that most of the games were pretty bad, but if they were all good, would that be as fun?

Blogs that inspired me to do this to myself:

I let the IF site give me a random list to review, because who know if I’ll make it through all the games.   Here’s the first few I’ll be doing:

  1. Trap Cave
  2. Interface
  3. Byzantium Perspective
  4. The Believable Adventures of an Invisible Man
  5. The Ascot
  6. Earl Grey

IF 2009 – Interface

October 3, 2009


The blurb says: What happens when your favorite Uncle, a successful electronics company owner, has you try out his latest invention? Of course, something goes amiss and you must struggle to set it all right or suffer the consequences. Deliberately “Old School” romp.

I don’t have a lot to add that’s not spoilerish….  So without further ado.

IF 2009 – Trap Cave

October 3, 2009

Trap Cave

I’ll try and post enough filler or other non spoiler comments at the top here, and such to avoid accidental spointers, and I’ll break before I get into my play by play thoughts on the game, but if you don’t want to be spoiled, you should probably stop reading now.

Trap Cave seems to be the only custom engine game this year.   Usually custom engine games are a bit of a red flag.   The blurb doesn’t inspire confidence, mentioning that it is a demo for his engine.