Before this IFComp, I don’t remember playing too many long, puzzly Twine games.
The Axolotl Project comes to mind, as does Open Sorcery. Some shorter puzzly games like Arcane Intern, 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire, and others were there.
But this comp seems full of them. At least one twine game that I tested and two that I’ve played are hour-long or two-hour long puzzle games that really test my skills and require navigation.
It’s a new trend I haven’t seen before, and I really like it. I also like the story-focused, experience-based twine games that have historically been more prevalent, but it’s fun seeing something new and seeing it done so well!
I haven’t gotten to those games yet on my randomized list, but I’m glad to know that they exist. (In fact, one of the many projects I have somewhere toward the back fo my queue is converting “The Owl Consults” into a Twine-based game.) Their rise seems parallel to the advent of point-and-click adventure games, which were still puzzle-based adventure games but had a different interface. I’m not personally a huge fan of slice-of-life, puzzleless choice games, so it’s nice for me that something I might be interested in that’s still within the Twine infrastructure exists.
From before the Comp, I’d mention Lost In Time too! (Which I found out about from your (Mathbrush’s) IFDB review, I think.)