Healy's notes and comments

These aren’t coherent reviews; rather, I’m typing these up in hopes that the authors will find useful. I don’t play many of these games online (just the ones that you need to play online), so I’m not a part of the sample that gets transcribed. Even if I was, these kind of guided comments can be useful as sort of a mix between review and beta-testing feedback. So let’s begin, shall we?

Blah blah blah, warning: spoilers, I trust you don’t need me to go into more detail than that.

Let’s kick things off with Kicker!

[spoiler]Okay, so the idea behind this is sorta brilliant. What better way to parody the wide world of sports than a game from the point of view of the guy on the team who barely does anything? And it it pretty good, really, except there are a couple of problems, mostly dealing with under-implementation, that hold it back from being a truly great work of sports satire.

First off, although I realize the simulated boredom is a big part of the game, I wish there was still more to do. Not like, game-changing decisions, mind; I just feel like there were many more inconsequential actions that could be implemented. Stuff like, say, whistle or twiddle thumbs. The biggest loss here, I think, is that the command dance is unrecognized, especially since there are so many ways you could spin that in a game about American Football, from do a touchdown dance to do the Super Bowl Shuffle. Most of the standard Inform responses are changed, which is very nice, but there are a few still there that would probably improve by changing (like, say, hugging a teammate).

Also, it seems the implementation is a bit shaky with regards to the other players and such. I kept getting back responses like “That noun did not make sense in this context.” when I tried commands like x team. Reflecting upon that, it seems like there’s a bug there, especially since I got the same response from trying to examine what turned out to be (I think) a non-implemented PA system.

Finally, while I dunno if it’ll help or hurt the game, it would be nice to have some sort of basic explanation of the football rules. After watching the crowd ran out of interesting responses, I was left watching the game, which, since I’ve only watched about one and a half football games in my entire life, was completely and totally ancient Greek. On the one hand, the confusion this causes might be funnier, but on the other hand, there’s great comedy to be mined from a highly detailed explanation of the rules of football, practically none of which will actually help you.

tl;dr: This is a decent game that could be even better with a more thorough implementation.[/spoiler]

I tried to say something coherent about The Test is Now READY earlier, but all my thoughts about it dissolved into a wreck of frightened gibbering and moaning. Replaying it just made matters [u]worse[/u]. I’m going to take a rain check on reviewing it and see if I can figure out why I had such a nasty reaction to it later. In the meantime, The Lift!

[spoiler]I think I’m more charitable to this game than most other reviewers. That’s probably because I’m an infrequent participant of Glorious Trainwrecks’s Klik of the Month Klub, in which this sort of dumb/bad game would be not only tolerated, but encouraged. But I can see why it’s not a big hit in the Comp. The important thing to remember about KotM and other similar game jams is that no matter how bad a game you’ve released, chances are good that someone has made a game that’s even worse. It’s part of the messy fun of those types of events. Quality is not a requirement. In judged events like the Comp, though, people will get cranky and think you’re wasting their time if you submit a game that you made on your lunch break. Not to mention that there used to be several troll games a year submitted to the Comp, which makes people more likely to take your game on bad faith.

And that’s not even going into the fact that Last Minute, another cheesy, very Trainwreck-y game, completely blows The Lift out of the water. I’m not sure about this, but it may have taken even less time to make than The Lift (before the update, anyway); there’s possibly a lesson in that somewhere, I dunno.

Enough of that! What about the game itself? Well, the entire game could be summed up in the words dumb and bad. The writing never impresses, and could do with some proofreading to boot. The game itself is a basically matching up which weapon will work in which room, which isn’t a very interesting puzzle, even by CYOA standards. All of the enemies are cliches. Despite this, I did like a couple things about it:
[]The very low chance of success, the video gamey assortment of weapons and enemies, and the completely incongruous porno room all contribute to a (probably unintentional) satire on the machismo of Doom, Duke Nukem, et al. I’m reading too much into this, but I just don’t care right now.[/]
[]I like how the rat room is literally impossible to survive. It’s just funny that the only thing you cannot beat is just a bunch of rats.[/]
[]Finally, I like how the sword isn’t described as a katana.[/]

My advice to the author would be to check out the Speed IFs, which might be more to his speed.[/spoiler]