Enrique's IFComp 2020 Reviews

I’ve been greatly enjoying playing games and reading other folks’ reviews during this competition, and I thought I’d share my own here: https://datalexic.com/ifcomp-2020-reviews/

I focused mainly on choice-based games listed at 1 hour of game time or less, and after whittling them down a bit I ended up on 15 that I played and rated. While in the past I’ve reviewed just my top 5 games of the competition, I realize how important breadth of feedback can be, so this time I’m providing shorter reviews but covering all 15 games I played with both positive and constructive notes for each. I’ll also be adding these reviews individually to their respective IFDB entries. Hope this is useful to authors and players alike!

Games covered:

  • Doppeljobs
  • Congee
  • The Moon Wed Saturn
  • Tavern Crawler
  • Mother Tongue
  • Babyface
  • Phantom
  • Sense Of Harmony
  • Big Trouble In Little Dino Park
  • Chorus
  • The Cave
  • Electric Word, “Life”
  • You Will Thank Me As Fast As You Thank A Werewolf
  • #Vanlife
  • Amazing Quest
10 Likes

Really great reviews! Thanks for sharing :heart:

1 Like

Thanks, really appreciate the review and thoughtful feedback.

3 Likes

You are one of few public reviewers I’ve seen who reviewed Babyface. I played it too…I saw that you were confused about the ending and I thought I would offer my thoughts on it. I am no expert on deciphering stories with vague endings, and it’s very possible we’re not even intended to know what’s going on, the author may have intended a completely different interpretation, but here is what I got out of it:

Spoilers for Babyface

In the early photo of Babyface, he was a young man. In the protagonist’s slumber party, a girl said that he appeared to her as a boy. And at the end, his face looks like a baby’s. This implies that he is doing more than “preserving” his face to keep it from getting used up, but actually regressing somehow, becoming more youthful.

The mother had a photo of the rocking chair he was sitting in at the end, so she had been in his house. This may be my fault if I didn’t pay close enough attention to the story but I don’t remember them saying exactly how the mom died. The author may have sidestepped this to avoid overt explanation of what happened to her that might’ve removed some impact from the ending, but I believe that Babyface found a way to “use up” the things he looks at in a way beneficial to him, in other words draining them to reverse his own used-up-ness. He may have withered her away.

This is why the dad was convinced that Babyface had the mom; yes, they buried her, but some portion of what she was, was in posession of Babyface. And now the protagonist has fallen into the same trap…she thinks by getting locked into this staring contest she is using him up, but the fact that she can no longer blink implies something is seriously wrong in this situation.

This is why the idea of getting used up is reiterated at the ending.

2 Likes

Thanks for that insight! I think what you say definitely tracks, and I figured there’d be an explanation for the story—it just went way over my head as I read/experienced the ending.