Aster's speed seedcomp thoughts

Here’s some thoughts about the seedcomp games I played and finished.

After the Accident

Absolutely gorgeously written game. Amanda uses Sophia’s seed to wonderful and tragic effect. The themes and symbolism woven through the game are amazing, enforcing the inevitability of the accident(s) when you look back and back. Was it always going to end this way? Maybe the signs were there this whole time. My favorite part was the bread-as-allegory for subsuming. I live for that kind of poetic shit - and the fire motif throughout, swallowing. The blue sweater stuck out from the original poem’s imagery strongly, so it was fitting to see it as a motif - softness embedded with glittering pain.

The parser was barely noticeable though the times when default Inform responses kicked in felt detracting, given the game is so haunting and poetic. I kinda wonder if a twine game would’ve worked smoother for the mood, but I wonder that about a lot of parsers.

free bird.

This was a delightful little tidbit, clever, simple, and effective. I don’t know what could be said about it that others haven’t said, but it’s very pleasing to play, once you get what’s going on, how to understand the world, and how to navigate. I didn’t realize that the top screen was what the macaw was holding in its beak until like, halfway through the game? I also got stuck on the jaguar puzzle a bit, but a nudge from Sarah got me unstuck quickly.

Overall it told a scrappy uplifting tale about the dashing escape of a ragtag group of animals led by a handsome macaw, which is impressive feat to do when there’s no verbs!

Hidden Gems, Hidden Secrets

With buttery smooth technical polish by Josh Grams and viscerally upsetting subject matter, I think it’s fitting that the “run game” button actually says “run slow collapse”, because it sure felt like it. The timed text was a little excruciating, especially when trying to replay, but I got why it was there.

Similar to After the Accident, the “maybe the signs were there this whole time” aspect of Corn’s behavior, once you notice it, becomes very chilling. I found the portrayal of Corn very realistic and nuanced – he tramples over and ignores boundaries in disturbing and inappropriate ways, yes, but he does back off when people put their foot down, he says sorry so believably, and doesn’t touch the subject afterward. It’s completely believable that each victim blows it off as a one-off before the pattern is made clear. I think the multiple endings that can happen impart a subtle moral lesson about not just people believing survivors but survivors supporting each other, and I appreciated it.

I didn’t like the music very much and muted it.

His Majesty's Royal Space Navy Service Handbook

This is a charming game about a very stuffy and uptight woman who’s probably very unpleasant to work with, but who is fun to see the inner thoughts of. The puzzles are relatively simple and logical (though I still needed hints because parsers are difficult for me). I liked how the game had verbs assigned to solutions and removed them you solved things, just to lighten the load; very clever design choice for the limitations of the deadline. Most mentioned things were examinable and that always feels nice. Also bonus cookie for torrid, exciting, daring romance that you only incidentally see through a window while you gather paperwork.

I did find the author’s notes proselytizing about not using verbs not in the verb list a little annoying.

In a Tomb with a Donkey

This game was cute! I thought it was a pleasant story, fairly easy and intuitive, and it makes me want to take a crack at the Adventuron system since it’s the first game I played using it. I love games with little spells to cast on things, and I liked that you got unique text for (as far as I can tell) every spell + item combination you try to do, which told more about the PC and their personality/ethics. The references I caught were fun, like with Indiana Jones and how witches sink in water. I almost never had to guess what verbs are allowed, only what verb to use at which moment - which was well signaled for most of the game.

The two areas I got tripped up were getting on and off the platforms/stones, and talking to the surprisingly nice sphinx. She said “Are you ready to answer my question?” like five times while I futilely tried >Yes, >Answer Yes, >Say Yes, >Say Time Travel, and various other combinations in that vein. That was a little frustrating.

The Magic Word

I did not like this game very much. As mentioned I suck at parsers, and this game (unlike the other, much kinder, parsers on this list) doesn’t try to hold your hand about it. In fact (to continue the metaphor) it seemed to actively slap my hand for sucking at parsers. Though I guess I can’t hold that too hard against it given it bills itself as “fiendishly difficult”.

I did like the fan puzzle, that was the only pleasing one for me. After I got the rectangle from the slot machine, I wasted an unpleasant amount of time trying to get 3 stars and see what could be gotten from that, only to find out it was utterly pointless to do so. I tried turning the timer as soon as I had that ability and was told I couldn’t do it, not realizing that I had to wait until it hit 30 seconds. So I also wasted a lot of time saving and restoring, because I thought I literally had <60 moves to solve everything and that’s it and I didn’t want to find out how the ANNOYING ALL CAPS IMP was gonna condescendingly punish me for failing at the fiendishly difficult puzzles. The hint system doesn’t describe how to actually work the lamps, which felt like a major flaw in a player aid that’s supposed to help you solve the game.

The puzzles seem very clever and the implementation is probably very genius on the inside, but none of that panned out to a game I actually enjoyed.

prepare for return

An odd little tidbit of a game that didn’t feel quite complete, but was interesting nonetheless. I liked the little poems and word snippets written by the author. Is there nothing you can do regarding the lizardfolk utterly destroying your facility? Is that just how the game always ends? I wanted to wrestle with the moral questions it started to raise, but I didn’t have the chance to.

I think the thing that quirked my mouth up the most about this game is the dead-on impression of ChatGPT and AI like it, from the memory core. I kinda wanted to see more of that.


This was a trippy game. It felt raw and beautiful in its depiction of ugly emotions and behaviors, in a way that reminded me of porpentine’s neon overstim nightmares. A wondrous headache of an experience. The art and effects were stunning aesthetic glitchy eyesores. Invoked all the right feelings, and they were all horrid and gross. I only played once, which was more than enough for me.

When I use words like eyesore, gross, headache, ugly, I use them with the impression that the author would be pleased by these descriptions. If the author is not, then I wish to assure them that I use these words in a positive and impressed way.

In a minute there is time

This is my game! I’d love if you played it, especially if you love poetry. Takes one (1) minute! In a minute there is time by Aster



Thank you Aster for playing (and voting for) the SeedComp! games :green_heart:
(and now we are up to 6 votes yay :smiley: )


Yeah, uh, I conceptualized it as a lot longer but I had bad time management and wrote it over the course of, like, three days. I meant for there to be more but, as is, there’s only one ending. Sorry! Glad you found some parts of it fun though.

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Many thanks for your lovely comments! You’ve flagged up what seem to be the two most common trip-ups there - the stones had some bugs with the commands (now fixed) but I’ll be improving both things in the post-comp version. Thanks again!

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Thanks for the great review, Aster!

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I just put these reviews up on ifdb :slight_smile: