Marie Reviews

Okay, I can see the format here is ‘person name reviews’ and then you just go through the games as you do them. I would have thought it would make more sense to have a thread for each game and then add reviews to those?

I’ve only played all the way through one game so far. “16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds” - I played it through twice, got different endings. I could see how someone with a slight touch of OCD would want to play through each possible ending. That might be me if I weren’t under time pressure to play as many of these games as I can.

It’s nice how it shows you all the possibilities. I also really liked the word-puzzle I found, and the time in the intro where you can click on ‘slayed’ to change it to ‘have slain’.

The writing was quirky and fun. Reminded me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer -I’m sure that wasn’t unintentional.

Next up for me is “500 Apocalypses” - yes I’m going in alphabetical order. It’s my first time.
I get what the author is trying for? But I was frustrated very early on by the back buttons. For example, when I read the FAQ, I feel that the ‘back’ from there should be to the start of the game, not to the screen where I chose whether to go to the FAQ or start the game. Because I already did that? Likewise, the first apocalypse - the first two apocali - both have no links in them and ‘back’ takes you back to the top. I felt like I was caught in a loop and it was less like a stroll and more like an elevator that insists on returning to the ground floor between every trip.

That said, I did enjoy some of the passages, and I liked scrolling past the dots to see the increasingly random red ‘visited’ dots. But I think for this to work the ‘back’ has to be aware of your place in the garden and the individual apocali have to interlink more.

“A Time of Tungsten”

Generally, Tungsten is a favorite as far as metals go, so I was hopeful for this story. However, it is frustratingly accurate at depicting boredom. You have no place to go, nothing but onward to click, with occassional asides that all lead back to where you were. It’s essentially a click-through story, and not a very interesting one. I mean, I get it - you are writing about boredom so solitaire and spam and staff meetings match that theme, but I don’t want to spend my entertainment time exploring it. There are long stretches of dialog without conflict. Characters repeat bland jokes that do nothing but slow down the process.

I made sure to play the story with sound on as requested, but I didn’t get the feeling that I had to. The sound was just… sound. It didn’t affect my choices, and I’m not entirely sure I had any choices to affect.

I think I agree with reasie that having game specific discussion threads might make sense in addition to the individual reviewer threads. Although adding ~60 threads might be a bit much, so maybe… groups of four per thread might make sense?

That way, if there are people that aren’t going to play as many games, or who only want to say a couple sentences, or who only want to comment or discuss something about a specific game, they can still chime in.

Is anyone else interested in this? Or have reasons against it?

(I haven’t played any of these three games yet, except for the one I play-tested, so I won’t comment on your reviews)

My instinct is against this for several reasons. If it’s done with individual threads, lack of coverage might feel more pointed for an author who has one page of posts in their thread, vs. one who has five pages of thoughts. If games are grouped together in units, and a heated discussion or debate sparks up over one of the games, people might have to wade through a bunch of comments to participate in a discussion about another game, and it could get complex quick. Plus, having one reviewer’s thoughts in one place gives me a sense of consistency about what they like and what they look for, and thus it’s easier for me to tell if they don’t like something I’d like, or vice versa. But I welcome other thoughts.

The idea of one thread per game is neat, but yeah, there’d be a lot of clogging.

And it might be duplicating efforts bit, because IFWiki does conglomerate reviews by game, so we have that resource if we want it.

A thread with just one post that links to all the entries would also be doable. The only problem is that only the person writing the post could edit it.

However, the author forum has had (for a few years) a spreadsheet of which authors reviewed which games, so maybe we could have the same thing here. It’s a bit of work to get started, but once it is, it seems to run smoothly. Any author from 2015 or 2014 could copy/paste the formatting.

See, I’m sort of assuming no one will review my game at all… but someone might comment on a game I’ve played and we could discuss things about it that work and don’t.

I dunno.

I’m up to “Aether Apeiron” and I feel like I’ll never get through it. There’s a lot of eyekicks - half bee girl, and a hunky statue man - but I’m not clear on what my motivation is? What am I trying to do? How do I get back to the spaceship that was blowing up?

So I skipped ahead and did “All I do is Dream” which is pretty short, actually. Not much to say about it. Seems to be yet another exploration of depression. I’m starting to feel depressed! Where are the happy games?

From the ones I’ve gone through so far, the next game that should be one your list, Ariadne, is happier. Fair is, too.

Outside of parser games, Screw You, Bear Dad and, from what I’ve played, The Shoe Dept, are both also lighter.

I agree this year seems to have a fairly high % of of sad/depressing/unhappy games.

In addition to dgtziea’s suggestions, I think you might want to check out Detectiveland, Take Over the World and Ventilator. They’re funny and don’t try to explore heavy or unpleasant themes (or maybe they do and I didn’t notice because I’m clueless!).

I’ll start working on a spreadsheet, but I wasn’t here those years, so I don’t have the formatting.

To be fair, it’s been a pretty bad year for the world!

Ariadne in Aeaea is pretty great! I didn’t like the intro bit - it felt a little ‘butler maid dialog’ but as soon as you start in the gameplay, you are in an interesting environment with a very clear motivation moving you forward.
I’ve been playing it in spare time for quite some time now, actually. May have to pause and jump to something else, but yeah, so far I’m liking the hint structure and the map and the story. Yay!