Anyone judging blurbs this year?

I loved reading the blurb reviews last year, if anyone’s up for it this time around.

I am.

Working on it.

Hey, don’t I usually start this thread? Er, well, that’s alright. Saves me the trouble! Now, on to those blurbs:

5 Minutes to Burn Something! by Alex Butterfield: This looks like something wacky in the vein of You Have to Burn the Rope. Judging from the cover, maybe you have to burn toast?

A Figure Met in a Shaded Wood by Michael Thomet: I’m not sure if this one’s going for horror or Medieval period piece. The cover suggests the latter while the blurb suggests the former. Maybe it’s both? The subtitle says it’s a game about “fortune telling and choices”; some link to the tarot here, perhaps?

Arcane Intern (Unpaid) by Astrid Dalmady: A Your Shitty Job game, only with magic involved. I’m not intrigued by the concept, but there’s some real potential for humor here.

Birdland by Brendan Patrick Hennessey: Brendan’s probably most famous for his You Will Select a Decision Series and Bell Park, Youth Detective; this game seems to be more serious than those games. It feels a little like Eidolon from last year, actually. Not much to go on here, though.

Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! by Steph Cherrywell: You guys, I have a confession to make: I have never played a Steph Cherrywell game before. But it looks like this may be a good place to start: goofy gags, a sinister plot, Pine Nuts Festival. And I really dug the “text-o-rama” gag on the cover.

Cape by Bruno Diaz: The blurb here doesn’t actually say much, but I’ve been keeping up with the author’s previews here and there, and I’m definitely interested in where this is going.

Capsule II - The 11th Sandman by Paper Blurt: Oo, some kind of space horror, perhaps? I’m not the biggest fan of Paper Blurt but he certainly has me hooked here.

Cat Scratch by Allyn (Yilling) Chen, Hannah Turner, Laura Weber, and Shirley Park: Welp, looks like this is this year’s “School Project Submission that Everyone Feels Bad About Reviewing”. I can’t even tell what this one is about; a children’s book adaptation, maybe?

Crossroads by Cat Manning: I gotta admit, this one ain’t really grabbing me. It doesn’t look like it’ll take long to play, though, and I am curious about that witch, so I’ll probably give it a shot if I can get to it before the reviews are out.

Darkiss - Chapter 1: the Awakening by Marco Vallarino: Vampires, I’m guessing. I dunno, I’m just not feeling this one. And that “Chapter 1” has me worried; are we facing another Sigmund’s Quest here?

Duel by piato: Vampires again? I mean, I’m just guessing, since the blurb’s only one line. Snazzy cover, though; what’s it from?

Emily is Away by Kyle Seely: Oo, an early '00s adventure! I’m not sure what format the game is in, though. Windows executable? Mac app? AIM launcher jury-rigged to explode?

Ether by Mathbrush: This game looks too complicated to navigate. What are these 26 directions, and why do I need them? Game itself seems kinda Coloratura-esque.

Final Exam by Jack Whitham: Seems a bit snoresville. What’s an Administrator? What’s the Final Exam? It feels like a cardboard cut-out dystopia.

Forever Meow by Moe Zilla: Wow, such game. Much perfunctory, very toss-off. Wow. (Yes I know that’s the wrong animal shut up.)

Gotomomi by Arno Von Borries: I read this blurb like three times and I still don’t know what the game’s about. Some kind of pomo fairy tale? Whatever.

Grandma Bethlinda’s Variety Box by Arthur DiBianca: Very cute, with a slightly sinister edge. I’m keeping an eye out for this one.

Grimm’s Godfather by WaffleShuai: An adaptation of the Grimms’ Godfather Death. I’m not cheered by some of the things the author chooses to advertise the blurb, but this could be interesting. We’ll see.

GROWBOTICS by Cha Holland: I misread the title as GROWBIOTICS at first, which suggests a different sort of game. Anyway, I hope we’ll be able make cute robots in this one! Everybody could use more cute robots.

I Think The Waves Are Watching Me by Bob McCabe: Oh dear, nearly everything’s being randomly generated in this one. That could be good or it could be very bad. Wait and see, wait and see.

In The Friend Zone by Brendan Vance: This is the kind of humor that’s pretty easy to screw up and land in Awkward-Land, and not in a good way. I think I’ll wait for some reviews first.

Kane County by Michael Sterling and Tia Orisney: A kinda-sorta Western about surviving the Utah desert. I didn’t play Orisney’s horror-influenced game last year, but this looks like something more up my alley.

Koustrea’s Contentment by Jeremy Pflasterer: Kind of a mouthful of a title, and I can’t quite parse that blurb. Does that “as the others have long ago” part refer to making an unsettling discovery, or struggling to find a paradisial niche? Or both?!

Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory by Katherine Morayati: The color/emotion system described here reminds me of the one in Coloratura. And “a story generator”? Hmm, mysterious.

Life On Mars? by Hugo Labrande: The plot reminds me of The Martian. Other than that, there’s not much to go on. I hope we meet cute aliens, though!

Map by Ade: The blurb is a little confusing, but the cover looks neat. That’s about all I got.

Midnight. Swordfight. by Chandler Groover: AWWW YES MIDNIGHT SWORDFIGHTS!! The blurb is only two lines long and already it’s got me pumped.

Much Love, BJP by Megan Stevens: This sounds pretty boring and technical, and I think it’s because there’s not much mention of what the game’s about. Yes, a fictional war correspondent, but what happens to them?

Nowhere Near Single by kaleidofish: Apparently these guys have done visual novels in the past. I wonder if there’ll be graphics in this? The poly angle seems in danger of getting preachy, but I’m willing to see where it goes.

Aaaand I’m stopping here for now. The rest in a bit!

Alright, after dinner, a short jog, and looking at Lupin gifs doing some important research, I am ready to get back into action. Now, where were we?

Onaar by Robert DeFord: A open world text adventure, huh? Sounds pretty interesting, although I’m not sure I have a ALAN interpreter. Also the cover is pretty bad; it looks like some junk the author had lying around.

Paradise by Devine Lu Linvega: Huh, it says it was initiated in 2011, but wouldn’t that disqualify it from the Comp? Maybe they just mean that’s when they started the project. I’m not exactly thrilled with the concept either way. Multiplayer IF has been done well before (see Seltani), but this one doesn’t have a good hook, or at least it’s not in the blurb.

Pilgrimage by Victor Ojuel: Man, another game about magicians-in-training this Compmas. Is that too common to be a unusual theme, like with the squids? Anyway, this one seems to be going for a darker tone than the rest.

Pit of the Condemned by Matthew Holland: Oo, spooky. This has got me very curious about what’s in the city. Nice blurb!

Questor’s Quest by Mark Stahl: Honestly the comedy in this game looks like it’ll be a little stale, judging from the blurb. But at least the cover looks good! And they credited the artist, which is a nice touch. Oh, but there’s some zombies there; looks like Maga will have to sit this one out.

Recorded by Nick Junius: Honestly it looks like this one was going for “mysteriously vague” but just hit “vague”. Hopefully the game itself will be clear about what it’s about.

Scarlet Sails by Felicity Banks: This seems to be aiming for a Choice of Games feel, to the point where I’d be surprised if it wasn’t in Choicescript. Those can be pretty fun, so I’ll look forward to this one as a sort of palate cleanser between heavier entries.

Second Story by Fred Snyder: What is this “Game”, exactly? Is it electronic? Is it LARPing? Is it Xtreme Sports Geocaching? Is it a polite term for “bank robbing”? No one (who has just read this blurb) knows.

Seeking Ataraxia by Glass Rat Media: This puts me in the mind of those games commissioned by charities about some issue affecting people today, like homelessness or depression. I haven’t played any myself, but some of them have gotten good reviews. Hopefully this’ll be another game in that vein.


Sub Rosa by Joey Jones & Melvin Rangasamy: Oo, secrets. In a possibly magic world? The blurb tells you just enough about the world that the details you don’t know come off as mysterious and intriguing rather than vague. I like that.

Summit by Phantom Williams: Blurb doesn’t tell you much. The cover looks like it came out of Myst. With sound!

Switcheroo by The Marino Family: This is a subject that needs to be handled very sensitively if you don’t want to cheese people off. I hope the authors of this game can manage it.

Taghairm by Chandler Groover: More magic, this time of the horrible and unspeakable variety. I’m not a fan of dark games, but if the reviews are okay, I’ll check it out.

The Baker of Shireton by Hanon Ondricek: I love this. You’re a baker in an idyllic fantasy town (you can tell because it’s called Shireton), and there’s these raiders which you have to deal with in a creative way (because you’re a baker and probably not a very good fighter). Within three sentences you’ve got the major drive of the plot. I love it.

The Insect Massacre by Tom Delaynoy: This, on the other hand, doesn’t give you near as much of the plot and flavor. From the title I’m guessing there are aliens involved, but there’s not much else to go on.

I think I’ll stop here for the night. The rest’ll be done tomorrow.

I really liked the blurb for this one too. Also the pixely loaf of bread.

to be fair! only about two-thirds of the game is in all-caps. the rest is in lower-case. but also, to be fair, you have to work to get the lower-case stuff, so we’ll see if that works as a motivation

OK, here’s mine.

Okay, now the rest of them!

The King and the Crown by Wes Lesley: This blurb definitely errs on the side of telling us too much about the game. It’s a bit too wordy and tells us some unnecessary details, I think, but otherwise fine.

The Man Who Killed Time by Claudia Doppioslash: This one is actually pretty funny, despite some awkward phrasing in the first paragraph, and I’m left wondering how things wound up the way they were. I’ll keep an eye on this game.

The Problems Compound by Andrew Schultz: Another one of Schultz’s wacky word games. The cover is very primitive, but you can get a pretty good idea of what the game’s about by the blurb, including the gimmick, which is no small feat for something so short.

The Speaker by Norbez: There’s something sinister going on here, and I can’t tell if it’s from the alien or the human. This is a really effective attempt at mystery.

The Sueño by Marshal Tenner Winter: The sleep test kinda reminds me of the set-up to Losing Your Grip. The cover art is very swank, and nicely conveys the trippiness implied by the last sentence.

The War of the Willows by Adam Bredenberg: The blurb conveys the mood here well, but doesn’t really tell us much else. I think I’d like something more concrete here, like a character or a place.

To Burn in Memory by Orihaus: Oo, lost cities. I hope not being too much of a pedant by pointing out that saying in the blurb your game was made for the IF Comp is redundant. We can already see that, Orihaus! We’re looking at the ballot!

TOMBs of Reschette by Richard Goodness: Dungeon Crawl with a twist, it looks like. If man is not the real monster here, I’ll eat my hat. Again!

Unbeknown by A. DeNiro: Some kind of sci-fi prison game? The concept kinda reminds me of howling dogs. The horse picture on the middle of the cover is a mystery to me; perhaps it’s a clue to one of the key themes, or maybe it’s a memory of one of the characters.

Untold Riches by Jason Ermer: This does a good job of i[/i] being funny, and i[/i] setting up the main conflict. If the treasure doesn’t turn out to be “friendship”, I’ll eat my other hat!

There are no aliens involved [emote];)[/emote]

I’d like to volunteer the information that my cover was created by Gwen C. Katz

This is stated in the credits of the game, but I wanted to give her due props.