Mathbrush reviews on IFDB

I’m writing reviews on IFDB, starting with the games that are on unusual platforms, since they often languish until later in the comp without reviews.

Here is an ongoing list.

  1. The Belinsky Conundrum
  2. Library
  3. Silicon and Cells
  4. Kidney Kwest
  5. Wabewalker
  6. The Spirit Within Us
  7. Infinite Adventure
  8. What Remains of Me
  9. The Vaults
  10. Second Wind
  11. The Last Night of Alexisgrad
  12. I Contain Multitudes
  13. Plane Walker
  14. Walking Into It
  15. The TURING Test
  16. we the remainder
  17. Finding Light
  18. Retrocon 2021
  19. Codex Sadistica
  20. Fourbyfouria Quarryin’
  21. Weird Grief: skipped. I started it but saw that the warnings were very accurate, and I appreciate the author’s thoughtfulness.
  22. Unfortunate
  23. Starbreakers
  24. A Paradox Between Worlds
  25. Recon
  26. Enveloping Darkness
  27. Funicular Simulator 2021
  28. Hercules!
  29. How the monsters appeared in the Wastelands
  30. Ghosts Within
  31. 4x4 Archipelago
  32. Dr. Horror’s House of Terror
  33. Goat Game
  34. What Heart Heard of, Ghost Guessed
  35. Song of the Mockingbird
  36. At King Arthur’s Christmas Feast
  37. The House on Highfield Lane
  38. And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One
  39. The Best Man
  40. Beneath Fenwick
  41. You are SpamZapper 3.1
  42. AardVark vs the Hype
  43. Off-Season at the Dream Factory
  44. Sting
  45. The Mermaids of Ganymede
  46. The Waiting Room
  47. An Aside About Everything
  48. Universal Hologram
  49. extraordinary_fandoms.exe
  50. The Golden Heist
  51. The Libonotus Cup
  52. Fine Felines
  53. The Corsham Witch Trial
  54. Brave Bear
  55. Taste of Fingers
  56. How it was then and how it is now
  57. Closure
  58. The Last Doctor
  59. Cyborg Arena
  60. The Dead Account
  61. Papal Summons: Another one that became sexually explicit, and had content warnings that implied that worse was to come.
  62. My Gender is a Fish
  63. The Miller’s Garden
  64. The daughter
  65. This Won’t Make You Happy
  66. After-Words
  67. BLK MTN
  68. Grandma Bethlinda’s Remarkable Egg

Games I beta tested:
Cygnet Committee
Smart Theory


Thank you so much for the review! I’m very new to this so that was my first ever review and I’m so glad it was such a well thought through and positive one! :smiley:


With 30 games into the comp, I’ve given out 5 stars to two games: The Last Night of Alexisgrad and Silicon and Cells.

However, that’s based on my IFDB criteria (polish, descriptiveness, interactivity, emotional impact, and would I play again?), not necessarily personal enjoyment. The games I’ve enjoyed the most so far are probably we the remainder, Codex Sadistica, Hercules!, and Ghosts Within. Almost every game I’ve played is one that I think could be someone’s favorite game.

I haven’t seen any clear frontrunners for whose going to win the competition, and I think the field is wide open. There are several games by authors I know that I put off, as I’ve been trying to play less accessible and longer games first. Thanks to all the authors! This has been great fun so far.


@mathbrush there are no words to express how grateful I am for your honest and positive review of Ghosts Within, my first IF game. It is honorary that you have found my game compelling and fun, which is what I was aiming for since the main story’s initial conception. Also, thank you very much, for considering my game one of your favorites this year. As for the minor typos and bugs you’ve mentioned, I have already taken them into consideration and I will most definitely update the game as soon as possible, correcting most of them. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

  • Kyriakos

It is hard to believe that Ghosts Within is your first IF game. I hope you keep writing. You have talent.


Thanks so much for playing and reviewing my game! The feedback is so valuable to me.

RE your story about Emily Short’s review of your game: she is my IF hero, not just because she writes amazing games, but because (rightly or wrongly, this was my perception) IF seemed like such a boy’s club to me until she started dominating everything, and she made it feel more possible for me to write a game. Of course, it still took 20 years for me to do it.


Just as an off-topic aside…

Whenever I got Writing with Inform printed I made sure to have “Graham Nelson and Emily Short” as joint authors on the front, to inspire my daughter in a similar way. I’m not sure but think Graham wrote most of the text and Emily most of the examples.


Gaaaaaaah, thank you for noting that the pictures were broken Mathbrush! Apparently I uploaded a .html file instead of a .zip file the first time, due to inattention or some such. Can’t believe it’s been broken the whole time, ha.

(sorry, At King Arthur’s Christmas Feast was my game)


Ah, that looks so much better now! Glad to have helped!

Well, that’s it! I’ve played and reviewed every game except for 2 I skipped due to content warnings and 3 that I beta tested. I’ll review those three in the next few days.

I really enjoyed this competition! I was surprised by how many Ink games there were. Besides the 4 listed on the website as Ink, there are also The Daughter and Enveloping Darkness.

There were many great games in the comp, including things I’ve wished for a while someone could make (like the parser-via-text in Closure), games I’ve shared with my students (like 4x4 Archipelago), games that I’ve sent to friends who I knew would like it (like Dr. Horror’s House of Terror). Thanks to all the authors!


Congratulations on the exemplary feat of completing the comp, and thanks so much for all your reviews! They are as always great guides for what will be interesting to play. I especially appreciated your perspective on What Heart Heard Of, Ghost Guessed.


Ja, ja, ja, you did it again. You are the monster of reviews. Thank you, man. I hope you have enjoyed all of the games. What are you going on?

  • Jade

Thanks for not only getting through these reviews but also getting the word out! I’d like to do more of both.

And early reviews also help me to see if I missed anything terrible before posting my own, which lets me consider why I missed it. I appreciate you and all who paved the way. Also, it can be helpful if I’m just confused about a game.

So you and others have been a big help to pave a path for me to get through everything else in IFComp, both in the “yes it is doable” sense and in the “Okay, you missed something worth looking at again.”


Congrats – your reviews are great as always, and it’s awesome that all the authors got feedback from you (er, except for the two you skipped, which having played them, definitely do have reasonably extreme content)!