Kudos to reviewers!

I’m seriously impressed with the quality of writing and in-depth thoughtfulness of the reviews many of the judges are putting out there. It’s interesting to see the different styles (and personalities) shine through.

Until Spring Thing 2021, I let the competitions slide by as an interested outsider, choosing to continue playing whichever 20-year-old games were on my list at the time. When judging Spring Thing, I wrote a full IFDB-review for most of the games I had played. I noticed then that this put a heavy strain on my brain. By ParserComp, I decided to only review the games that I found the most engaging, as I am doing now. It helps focus my thoughts about the game I just played.

I like sending a paragraph or two out to the other players and the authors, but writing full reviews while Comping is way over my head.

Respect and kudos to those judges who find the energy to write those helpful (to players and authors) in-depth reviews mid-comp!

EDIT: That reminds me, @mathbrush , no ReviewComp this year? (It was you who instigated it last year, right?)


I’m not running it again (I had trouble getting enough voters, so that a single voter could completely change the order of the winners), but anyone who wants to take it over is free to do so! There are less games and more time than in recent years, so someone could start reviewing today and still get pretty far.


Hear, hear! It’s just so generous of people to take the considerable time and effort to write reviews. The feedback is so valuable. Since I’m a first-timer, it’s really important to me to know what kind of thing is working, and what isn’t so great. I’m already recalibrating things (or feeling more confident about things) in my sketch for my second game based on the reviews I’ve gotten.


The IF Comp reviews are always AMAZING, in part because there is such a wide range of tastes and personalities. It’s especially fascinating to hear from people that are judging and reviewing purely out of the goodness of their heart, and are thus trying games they wouldn’t normally try (…for better or worse).

The reviews and the secret author-only section of the forum are my two main reasons for always wanting to join the comp.

The prizes are cool, especially the weird ones (and are useful for justifying my time), but definitely not proportional to the amount of effort I usually put in.


Felicity, I just noticed that you have an “IFComp 2016 Entrant” tag by your name, but I’m as sure as I can be that you wrote the kitty game in this year’s Comp (checks entries- yep). Just wanted to point this out to you in case you didn’t notice it.


Yeah, according to Hanon’s message it sounds like you have to switch your forum title manually if you have a previous one: it should be under Profile > Preferences > Account?


Or perhaps @Felicity_Banks prefers her first year entry as a badge of honour?

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Nah, I hadn’t thought to change my tag and I’m glad to have it pointed out.


I’m almost overwhelmed by all the topics. It’s good to see. I’ve stated it before, but even if you feel your review is straightforward and plain, it’s worthwhile to all of us. And I agree about reviewers not feeling you have to write about a work that seems like a bad matchup for you (yes, I realize this includes my own stuff,) so–reviewers, don’t get stuck on one game, and don’t worry if you feel you aren’t putting out superstar reviews consistently, or even one.

This year I’ve felt a lot less worried about getting bad reviews and happier just looking for reviews in general, whether it’s of works I haven’t looked at yet, ones I have, ones I tested, or ones I wrote. I don’t know if I can put my finger on all the causes, but seeing these reviews on the message board and the spreadsheet was a good feeling. It got me motivated to try to do more than I originally planned. Perhaps I will be able to get through them all–and if that’s the case, I’d be quite grateful to people who didn’t know they helped me.

The community effort, for whatever reason, has worked to get me a nice boost to at least do considerably more than the previous years. It’s nice to be able to look at a few reviews to get my feet wet in a game and then, after writing my own, compare mine for obvious howlers or maybe something I forgot, or maybe look for a way to say something different.


I’ve been very quiet while the comp was ongoing, but I wanted to agree with this too! There’s been so much thoughtfulness, curiosity and insight in the reviews. I’m extremely grateful for the reviews of my game, and I’ve also really enjoyed reading people’s thoughts on other entries.


Couldn’t agree more! It’s been so valuable to read the reviews about my game and others, and I’m grateful to all the reviewers for taking the time to share their thoughts. As a relative newcomer, I really appreciate how kind and constructive everyone’s feedback has been, especially in comparison to, you know, the rest of the internet. The encouragement means a lot.


I think that a good work needs recognition even if it’s clearly a bad match for me. I try to highlight the good parts of a game, even as I acknowledge the parts that are not to my likings.

However, I think that there’s an undercurrent of feelings that you cannot review mismatched games or that if you do, you should at least give it a low score instead of a no score.

I, for one, do not like to give a low score on a good game, just because it’s not my style. So, I’d review it, but not submit my score. Unfortunately, I get a bad pushback on that, so now I adopt the stance of no review, like, at all.

No review. No problem.


We reviewers are the best! (Barring only the authors.)


Thanks to everyone who reviewed my entry! I’m impressed by reviewers’ tact and I was happy to get lots of positive feedback, and none of the criticism hurt even a bit.

I wanted to publicize Mike Spivey’s review of Cygnet Committee which covers pretty much everything I meant to get across in the game. It’s also the only off-site review I’ve received to date, so it deserves some attention.

Last of all, I appreciated being able to engage with reviewers and answer questions, which I understand wasn’t the case in some earlier years.