Ghosterington Night | Wade Clarke
A treasure hunt! Bad poetry! Cruel deaths that’d make people go berserk outside Speed-IF!
Seriously, though, I think this game shows good planning and also shows why Inform has an advantage over GUI-based programs in speed-if. You can type up a whole lot and throw it in–while source code with other languages is well-nigh impossible, from what I see. Quest having XML, and Adrift having XML and compression. I don’t know about ALAN.
I’d seriously recommend upping the time limit for non-text file-based programming languages to level the playing field, because it’s easy to see how an author could plan/type out the basics of any of the Inform or Twine games in this comp without ever starting an actual IDE.
[spoiler]I don’t know if this was my own thickness, but it took me forever to find the fourth poem, which is (super double secret spoilered)
[rant]in the mouth, provided you can answer a puzzle.[/rant]
I mean, I should and could have seen it, but I was busy looking for secret passages or maybe finding the 4th paper inside the painting. So that could’ve been clued, but that’s tricky in 3 hours. I will send the author a few other minor quibbles.
Having said that, I enjoyed the different endings for the # of poems found, the different ways to get rid of the clockwork girl, and the deathtraps.
The game is potentially unwinnable but you really have to do stuff wrong, and it’s not hard to restart and do things better. I like how it’s tougher to avoid the two monsters as you get more poem-pieces and how running around the mansion lets you know what’s where. Also, there are no safe rooms, only semi-safe ones. There’s a lot of puzzle for a little bit of code.[/spoiler]
The Hunting Lodge | by Hulk Handsome
Given the author, I was sort of expecting a mounted moose head that gave you a raspberry or wet willy when you weren’t looking, or perhaps a Big Mouth Billy Bass gone bad.
[spoiler]However, the game’s much more serious than that, and I think it does a pretty good job. I probably won’t be the first to point out some mislabeled directions, but the game seems about the right size, and if it railroads you a bit, the chase with the beast is nice. Bonus points for offering a score–though I think one fundamental problem is that the chase is a bit too easy with ‘listen’ and a bit too tough without it, and I don’t see a middle ground. It’s tough to implement this in 3 hours but I’d have liked some beast deterrent, maybe something that keeps it from a room, somewhere in the lodge.
But this is mechanical tweaking. It’s still well done and tidy, and I found how the plot unfolded to be effective.[/spoiler]
What Are Little Girls Made Of? | Carolyn VanEseltine |
I saw what the author did there after a couple playthroughs, and the game wasn’t hard, so, yeah, I was able to see a lot.
[spoiler]The game seems to break down into whether you agree with Jennifer or follow what she does or not, but it makes good use of that–do you give into her dare or not? There’s also some good quick establishing who your friends are, and emotional and social fears blend nicely with more traditionally Halloweeny fears.
Stuff that’s hard to fix in 3 hours includes my trying to punch Jennifer near the end, only to see that she wasn’t to be seen despite her talking to me.
This is a very good idea for a speed-if and a short game, and it was executed well.[/spoiler]
Beythilda the Night Witch | DCBSupafly |
I really like the poetry here. It’s a good idea (and similar to the more complex Danse Nocturne in concept if not in scope–again, back to the whole Inform>>Adrift for speed comps) and while there’s still some verb-guessing, this wouldn’t have worked as a more standard text adventure. And I don’t think it would’ve worked as a book. But it was fun as a succession of short puzzles. The walkthrough was helpful, especially since
I seem to have skipped over a step.
Parasites | Marius Müller |
This felt a bit bland and while I enjoyed being able to end the game two different ways, a few things went undescribed and it seemed a bit railroady. However, there’s no verb guessing–just an exit or two–so you shouldn’t have much problem finding where to go. I liked the uncertainty of whom you were fighting.
Big thing I’d fix for post-release would be
allowing the player to ENTER SHACK as well as going in.
The Evil Chicken Of Doom 3D | Mel Stefaniuk |
I got lost here. I tried brute-forcing but nothing worked. The writing gave me a few laughs, but I had no idea what to do. Also, I was unable to see the 3-d effects, but I’m interested.
I think I need to climb the shed, but I was unable to make any sort of ladder from the chicken wire and spade. I think my unfamiliarity with ADRIFT verbs has put me in trouble.