A Bitterly Indifferent thread of reviews, writeups, and thoughts articulated with varying degrees of quality

Doppeljobs is a choice-based story from Lei.

The narration of this story fits the perspective of a naive magical creature trying to survive as an entrepreneur in the City of Sand — it’s exactly the kind of blank-slate optimism that you would expect from an entity that knows nothing about humanity.

3 Likes

The Copyright of Silence is a choice-based entry by Ola Hansson.

The blurb for this entry hints that it’s like Elsinore or Varicella, where you are expected to fail many times and learn from your mistakes.

2 Likes

The Cursèd Pickle of Shireton is a choice-based fantasy adventure by Hanon Ondricek.

This entry’s greatest strength and biggest weakness is that it’s a sprawling assortment of wonders.

4 Likes

THE PICKLE ENDORSES THIS REVIEW HEARTILY AND REMINDS THE READER THAT THE PICKLE ONLY WANTS TO BE GOOD FRIENDS. THERE IS NO REASON TO DEFEAT THE PICKLE.

2 Likes

I’ll tell you what, one of my favorite moments in the game was when the pickle took care of the raider in the bakery. Whatever else you want to say about the pickle, you can’t fault its priorities.

2 Likes

“You Will Thank Me as Fast as You Thank a Werewolf” could have put more helpful information in its blurb – calling it “an experimental story about a lifelong romantic relationship” is insulting. (EDITED TO CLARIFY: Trying to present GPT-2 output as a mimicry of other IFcomp entries is an insult to even the weakest, most poorly crafted work submitted by actual people.)

From its in-game About section:

“This work is a collaboration with GPT-2, a neural network model designed to predict the next word in a block of given text based on its study of eight million web pages. In this application, I input a text file of my own prose from the past twenty years into GPT-2. It then generated new writing in a similar style. I selected, arranged, and lightly edited the resulting output.”

I’d be entertained if somebody collaborated with GPT-2 to generate a review for this entry, but otherwise I’m giving it a 2.

2 Likes

Chorus is a choice-based urban fantasy by Skarn.

This entry replaces the worst aspects of community service drudgery with tense fantasy conflict.

3 Likes

Quest for the Sword of Justice is a choice-based comedy by Damon L. Wakes.

This entry is a polished, smoothly executed joke, but it ends quickly.

1 Like

BYOD is a parser-based entry from n-n.

This entry offered a tight, carefully defined experience that let me feel like a hacker. I wish it put similar effort into telling an engaging story.

6 Likes

The Call of Innsmouth is a choice-based horror story by Tripper McCarthy.

I enjoyed my experience in the town of Innsmouth, but the investigation that led there was much less exciting.

5 Likes

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the playthrough of my entry, The Call of Innsmouth, and your review. I think you make some fair points, especially with the imbalance between the first half of the game in Arkham and the second half in Innsmouth. This was my first piece of IF, and having written it over a period of four months, your hunch is correct: I learned a lot as I went through the development process. I’m hoping to take these lessons and apply them to future works.

Thanks again!

7 Likes

Electric word, “life” is an interactive story by Lance Nathan.

It’s about five friends who won’t recognize the importance of their Halloween encounter until it’s over.

2 Likes

The Impossible Bottle, a parser-based puzzle adventure by Linus Åkesson, is an incredible triumph.

6 Likes

Tombs & Mummies is a parser-based entry, written in Quest, by Matthew Warner.

It was an entertaining challenge, but it would have been more entertaining if some of the challenges didn’t involve figuring out what the parser expected me to type.

2 Likes

Ulterior Spirits is a choice-based work created with Unity.

It’s well written, immersive fiction. But it didn’t feel like particularly interactive fiction.

2 Likes

Deus Ex Ceviche is a choice-based entry from Tom Lento and Chandler Groover.

This entry is a richly designed experience guided by a clear artistic vision. My attempts to describe that vision — it’s running a business that operates a church for robot seafood — will fail to do it justice.

3 Likes

(S)wordsmyth is a choice-based entry from Tristan Jacobs.

I loved the concept behind this entry, but I was baffled by its design choices.

4 Likes

Yeah, the visual-novel-with-no-visuals presentation on this one seemed decidedly odd…

This year, I’ve been paying more attention to the engines that authors are using to share their stories. It’s a more important decision than I had realized!

3 Likes

Ferryman’s Gate is a parser-based entry by Daniel Maycock.

Its obsession with comma use risks a catastrophic invocation of Muphry’s law.

1 Like