Dugg_funny's IFComp 2022 Reviews

4 Edith + 2 Niki

This is a strange game. You enter a shed in the back of a psych ward, and briefly observe or interact with some people named Edit or Niki. At the end, you must choose to go on a date with one of the Edits, and the game gives you a summary of your life with them.

By and large, I liked the summaries at the end. They all have the same sort of structure of “things started off X, but then they became Y, and it was alright,” which seems like a fairly apt way to describe most life-long romantic relationships.

There text is often awkward, and there is a lot of confusing pronoun switching. I didn’t really understand who these people were, who I was, or why I was dating them.

I did enjoy that there was a dude who’s super stoked about Slovakian food.

The author provided a link to their website, twitter, and email, but both are inoperable. Very odd.

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Cannelé & Nomnom - Defective Agency

I have a very low tolerance for twee*, which made this somewhat of a struggle. I, personally, found the characters fairly grating, and they spend a lot of time talking. And making decisions for you. And generally being wacky and random. This is really, really not my thing. It seems like maybe it’s well-executed, but I hesitate to judge, because I think even if it nailed what it was going for it would not be for me.

So, let’s set the text aside, and talk about the game. It’s great! It’s visually and mechanically polished, and I much prefer the use of hover-over text instead of the standard “click-to-expand” model. The Conspiracy Board is a great mechanic, and I wish it had been used more.

Nomnom’s section is enhanced by some great visual effects: the flickering text, the fact that you only see one choice at a time, and the ticking clock create a sense of urgency. It also offers great implicit characterization: he picks out important pieces, and hyperfocuses in on them, to the exclusion of everything else.

Similarly, Canelle’s sections were my favorite part of the game. I liked the gambling wordgame a lot, and would play a standalone version of it. It’s also brought back with minor tweaks in the excellent interrogation of the cat lady who’s stolen your wallet. Along with the shifting text of her internal monologues, it also provides characterization: Canelle sees everything and must carefully focus and sift through the noise to find the truth.

I was invested enough in the mechanical side to be looking forward to solving the mystery, and was pretty disappointed when the game ends by telling you that it is unimplemented, and asks you to come up with your own theory. As a reader of a mystery I have an assumption that the author knows whodunnit, and the lack of a conclusion felt sort of like a betrayal of the implicit promises associated with the genre–especially when the conspiracy board and “solving” mini mysteries felt like the real meat of the game.

As it turned out, it was more like the special beef that sends you running from the restaurant. I was not engaged enough with the world to have a go at coming up with my own theory of what happened, though I am curious what the authors eventually come up with, and hope they post the fan theories provided.

Overall, this was a very polished game with fresh mechanics that strongly enhanced the narrative, with a prose wrapper I found very off-putting.

*I’m not sure that’s quite the right word, but it’s close enough


Exactly! I’ve found that people talk more naturally when they are using their voice, which works much better with the engine. I suspect it is a combination of the fact that there isn’t the same “muscle memory” that IF players have when using their voice, and that it is just annoying to type a lot when you have to type, but saying things takes way less energy.

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