The King and the Crown -
This is a deliberately short and silly game with some vulgar elements, but it amused me more than it annoyed me. I didn’t feel I could rate this very highly, but I enjoyed my time with it. I remain curious what the optimal outcome is and how to achieve it.
Pit of the Condemned -
I like the premise as a jumping off point for an old-fashioned adventure puzzler, but this game seemed underwhelming. I wandered the city a bit, I solved about 1.5 puzzles, and then I won. Nothing I had found was compelling enough to make me want to put much time into replay and exploration to see if there was more meat here. I still enjoyed the game for a decent, if shallow, implementation of a nice old fashioned adventuring concept.
I wanted to like this game more. The slightly confusing blurb [later changed to be more straightforward] seemed to promise a philosophical and symbolic game, but what I got seemed to be a fairly dry errand-running simulator. I explored and earned a bit of money, but I didn’t discover whatever larger idea the author wanted to communicate. When the character conversation became philosophical, it felt stilted and unnatural to me. Did not complete partly due to issues with randomness in the money system. It seems to be a well-implemented largish game with some nice writing (with the occasional awkward phrase) but which failed to draw me into its world. (Not completed)
Final Exam -
If you like a strong puzzle focus, this game might be perfect for you, but I have grown slightly tired of elaborate “mess with machinery” puzzles. Even though the implementation and writing is solid, I enjoy a more emotionally involving story where the puzzles are on equal footing with narrative and exploration. I found the opening section of the game more compelling than the central puzzle sequence. Recommended for people who enjoy “make the equipment work” games. (Not completed)
The Sueno -
This was an interesting narrative with just the right level of puzzles for me. There are many things to like here - a fresh take on a solid premise (dreamstates may be a cliche of IF, but for good reasons), strong overall writing quality, and well-integrated hint system all helped my enjoyment a lot. A few puzzles and solutions do seem slightly under-motivated, but I only needed a few minor cues from the walkthrough to finish. A mark of how involved I was in the game was that I was careful to not spoil anything by seeing any future commands when I needed to check the walkthrough. A few issues like an ending that I felt was too abrupt keep it from ascending to the level of an all-time classic, but for me this game did a good job of mixing the right ingredients in the right proportions.
Midnight. Swordfight. -
Cool, weird, and quite a bit WTF. A strange mix of sensuality, philosophy, and vulgarity. I may return to this game to play it more, it claims to have a wide variety of outcomes. The unified space-time navigation system is a fascinating twist, even if it is more stylistic than substantive, and the game as a whole reminds me that I have still seen only a slice of the infinite possibilities of IF.
Nowhere Near Single -
This web-choice game was well-written and even though it was not very open-ended, I felt that the choices I had to make mattered, I cared about my decision and felt internally conflicted about the best course of action.I felt more invested as a “player” than I sometimes do when trying to figure out how to open Locked Door #7. I really enjoyed this work, and with just a tiny bit more interactivity/open-endedness it would have been one of my overall favorites.
Life on Mars? -
The scenario is compelling and the emotion in the backstory is impressive. When I played this, I didn’t realize I could enter ‘speed up’ more than once to increase the rate of text display. Also, the laptop I am using as a terminal doesn’t work well with the request for a 160 character width display window to format the output properly. Without going into specifics, the ending was also unsatisfying to me, a sudden halt which happened right when I thought the main plot of the game was underway. If I would have managed to figure out the text speed control, if the text formatting wasn’t so awkward, and if the ending wasn’t just a sudden unresolved stop, I would have enjoyed this game much more.
5 Minutes to Burn Something! -
This game did not work for me at all. The premise is risible, it’s a lot of contrived puzzles within a small apartment, and it gets more implausible as it goes on. I think the tone is an attempt at cynical, dark humor, but it didn’t gel for me. I also ran into implementation and parser problems. I suppose a fan of setpiece puzzles might enjoy working through this.
I don’t have much personal affinity for the vampire genre, but this game exceeded my expectations. I enjoyed the deliberately over-written manner of the translation. It is overall a quite traditional game of IF with puzzles that I found mostly solvable, with a few exceptions. A nice exercise in style and genre atop a solid puzzle structure foundation.