Misguided First Impressions (about the game names & blurbs)

For fun, here are my first impressions just from the games’ titles and blurbs. Hopefully there’s nothing spoilery in here, since I haven’t actually played any but the first game. Maybe when I’ve finished all thirty-five, I’ll compare each impression to the actual game. I thought this might be useful, since often a first impression carries a lot of weight when it comes to evaluating the actual game.

I didn’t really have a first impression about this, and have already played it. The blurb seemed to have a bit of awkward wording (maybe the word “only” could go, in the second sentence). Not much else to note.

No blurb on the game information and voting page. “Riverside” makes me think of downtown Wichita. Maybe something peaceful, tranquil. A pleasant, easy-going kind of slice-of-life game.

Snack Time!
Something humorous, or possibly sinister. Blurb leans more toward the former. Probably very puzzly.

Project Delta
Sounds ambitious, and with a title that’s kind of generic. Custom engine, referred to as a custom universe. Could be good if done well, but hints at over-the-top cheesiness.

Hmm. Something like All Things Devours or Mobius, maybe? Time/paradox puzzles. Probably difficult. Hopefully fun.

Opening Night
Something very centered around the story, maybe. Sounds like a period piece.

On the one hand, it seems clued for Silent Hill (“Trein Hill” … “all is silence” from the blurb). On the other, mention of taxes and rebellion, making me think maybe something politically-themed?

Everybody Dies
From the title alone, a very grim story. From the blurb, it’s hard to say.

LAIR of the CyberCow
From the title, a joke entry. Something over the top. A little promise shown from the blurb. I’m guessing a short game, and yeah, maybe a joke entry.

Nerd Quest
Ha! I want to play this. Java, eh? Should run on my laptop. Probably silly, probably lacking in the niceties offered by more widely-used IF development systems, but we’ll see.

Search for the Ultimate Weapon
Cringe… I used an example like this in my pre-comp review introduction for this year. Generic title. A genre that holds little interest for me. But will hope for the best!

Cry Wolf
A clever title. Interesting blurb. First impression: this’ll be a serious entry, and a well-written game.

The Absolute Worst IF Game in History
Doesn’t Stephen Bond have a whole page about titles not to use? Or is this game attempting to make the list? My guess is, it’s trying for irony, but probably will be kinda bad. Then again, it could be a good game about the worst game ever (kinda like Tenacious D’s “Tribute”). But probably a joke entry.

Death by blurb. The title’s okay, and could lead one’s imagination in many direction. The blurb is probably going for irony, but does nothing to excite a potential player.

A Date With Death
Ah, I wondered if DW would make an appearance. From the title alone, though… isn’t this just like 10 other games? The setting reminds me a little of another recent Adrift entry (different author). There’s a certain… force and flavor, maybe… to David’s work. Looking forward to it.

Title alone: just various women named Violet. Blurb: an unassuming, simple college term paper simulator, probaly with puzzles and a smallish plot. But these are the kind that are deceptively nondescript, and then blow you away. So we’ll see.

April in Paris
Sounds artsy. Cultured. Over my head, perhaps. Ah, a familiar author, but haven’t played his prior work. My expectations are high.

Red Moon
Wolves. A western. No blurb, so nothing to contradict me yet. Probably involving death or blood. Of course, it could be sci-fi, taken literally.

When Machines Attack
Ha! Re-purposing a familar phrase. That works! Author’s name sounds familiar. The Chinese Room, maybe? No blurb, so no other thoughts except it’s probably a spoof of some kind. Maybe with a Terminator flavor.

Piracy 2.0
Ah… already totally wrong. From the title, I was thinking “software” piracy (and maybe the “version number” is purposely misleading). But the blurb knocks that idea away. So are we talking sea pirates, or something in outer space? Either way, sounds like a fun romp. (Note: the admiral’s last name is the same as somebody I know in real life, and, uh, don’t have high regard for).

Recess At Last
Students, or a courtroom drama. Blub says the former. Sounds like it’ll be a good game for kids, maybe with lightweight puzzles.

The Ngah Angah School of Forbidden Wisdom
Harry Potter? Hogwarts? I got nothin’ else on this one. “Ngah Angah” is a little, er, clumsy-looking.

Buried In Shoes
A title that suggests a mystery, and urges the player to find out more. A good title. No idea what to expect. Maybe the PC gets buried while wearing shoes. Dunno.

Berrost’s Challenge
Sounds like one where a semi-evil wizard forces you through a series of trials. Let’s check the blurb. Oh! Hey! I might not be too far after after all!

A very simple title. This’ll make it hard for the author to Google for reviews and miscellaneous chatter, though (I had the same problem with Distress). Only other thought that comes to mind is a plot line in “Apollo Justice - Ace Attorney” which I’m playing on the DS now. Magicians. Hmmm.

The Hall of the Fount of Artois
Sounds like high fantasy. Blurb… doesn’t necessarily confirm that. “Hall of the Mountain King” pops into my head when I look at the title. Sounds like it’ll make for a fun game, though.

The Lighthouse
Memories of a “lighthouse” adventure on the CoCo 2 (TRS-80) from the 80’s. Something from the Rainbow Book of Adventures, I think. I was enthralled by “text adventures” then, and a well-done lighthouse adventure might bring back fond memories. Ah, maybe TMI from the author in the blurb.

Escape from the Underworld
Hmmm. Another seemingly generic title. Blurb is a winner, though. Looking forward to it!

Martian Odyssey
First thought - The Martian Chronicles (Bradbury). I’m a sucker for this sort of thing, though. A title like this has a wealth of promise, which is probably hard to live up to.

Bradbury, and now Asimov? And wasn’t there a similarly-named game a few years ago, dealing with werewolves or vampires? But man… I have to trust that author. Expectations are high for this one.

As long as the game doesn’t give me grief… har har. Hmm. Grieving? Death? Or just annoyances cast upon the PC? Oh, the author was 10th in 2006 (or was it 2005 - I remember the name because I did the T-shirts).

Dracula’s Underground Crypt
Hmm. Is this going to be the Year of the Vampire? Seems like every year has an accidental theme common to an abnormal number of games. But it’s not incredibly original, as a title. Comedy is a tough genre in IF. It’s easier to get players to take seriously whatever you take seriously than it is to make them laugh at whatever you find funny. But it could work!

Channel Surfing
What was that John Ritter movie? Stay Tuned, maybe? That’s my first impression. Something TV-related, or possibly an intentional switcharoo (maybe involving actual surfing).

The Lucubrator
Okay… if your game’s title is easily misread as “The Lubricator,” you might have problems. It’s probably a very serious game, yet I’m chuckling at my mistake… (A minute or so later.) Okay, well, that just proves my need for a more well-rounded vocabulary. It’s a real word after all. Woops!

The Missing Piece
Sounds promising from the title alone, but I remember a little about the author’s previous entry. It was kinda… hard to play. The blurb… isn’t that pretty much the same concept as the author’s previous game? Generic RPG-type stuff. But hopefully a good one.

Fun read.


Looking over the games I’ve played, it’s interesting to compare your first impressions of them with my opinions of them after I finished them. But getting more into to that would be pretty spoiler-y, so I’ll keep quiet for now. :wink:

Greetings; I’ve lurked here from time to time but just finally got around to registering…

Reading through the list of game titles, I found myself wondering which 80’s band would have recorded songs with those titles (ok, I cheated a bit and included bands I listened to in the 80’s…). It seemed to fit with this thread, so here’s what I came up with (I couldn’t come up with bands for a lot of them; maybe someone else can finish the list…):

Snack Time! - Iggy Pop
Grief - The Smiths
Piracy 2.0 - Thomas Dolby
April in Paris - PiL
Magic and Freedom are actual 80’s song titles…
Violet - Elvis Costello
Riverside - Tom Waits
Cry Wolf - The Cure
When Machines Attack - NIN
The Lighthouse - Bruce Springstein
Afflicted - Black Flag
Dracula’s Underground Crypt - Bauhaus
A Date With Death and Escape from the Underworld- (insert other random Goth bands)
The Lucubrator - David Byrne
The Absolute Worst IF Game in History - They Might Be Giants
Buried In Shoes - Blondie
A Martian Odyssey - Iron Maiden
Everybody Dies - REM
Red Moon - Echo and the Bunnymen

Hilarious! :laughing:
(But I have to dock you a letter grade… the Boss spells it with two e’s.) :wink:

Here are my first impressions about titles, subtitles and blurbs.

Note: I didn’t read your posts (except the beginning of Merk’s first post) before writing mine, because I didn’t want to be influenced; so my remarks may be sometimes redundant with what’s already been said in this thread.

Note (2): Don’t take my comments too seriously: some of them are harsh, and might prove to be extremely unfair when and if I actually play the games…

The Absolute Worst IF Game in History : Oh dear. Not a good start. The title is as unpromising as My first stupid game or games like that. Probably just a totally unfunny joke game.

Afflicted: Maybe a sordid story about a serial killer, or a story about alien abduction. (Or a sordid story about abduction by serial killer aliens.)

Ananachronist: Somewhat intriguing, although this isn’t the first game about temporal paradoxes. The blurb seems serious, but the title seems humorous; I wonder if the game is a comedy or not.

April in Paris: Doesn’t seem bad (although I don’t really know what a “social difficulty” could mean, but English isn’t my first language). The real-world setting might be a pleasant change from fantasy/SF settings. I must say that the word “exasperating” makes me think of the author’s posts on R*IF, because he often sounds exasperated in his posts :slight_smile: .

Berrost’s Challenge: Sounds rather conventional, but Enchanter-like spells are still fun!

Buried In Shoes: Er, I don’t know. Strange title, and not a very explicit blurb — but these are not necessarily bad things!

Channel Surfing: I don’t know if it’s about sports (But is surf-riding possible on channels? I thought it was on seas…) or about Internet chat channels.

Cry Wolf: Horror story. The writing is perhaps a bit overdone, but I like the fact that it apparently isn’t a parody.

A Date With Death: The story seems really similar to several other ADRIFT games. Maybe it’s a sequel to another game by David Whyld?

Dracula’s Underground Crypt: Parody of horror/vampire stories. I like the punch-line (the last sentence) in the blurb. I’m not sure I like the subtitle that much, though.

Escape from the Underworld: A sequel to Hell: A Comedy of Errors (which I never played, by the way)?

Everybody Dies: “Ever see a shopping cart in a river?” Er, no, I don’t think. Is it that frequent in Canada? But anyway, the blurb is rather good: I’m curious about what happens in the game, which is a good sign.

Freedom: The blurb sounds really boring. Let’s hope the game is not, and the blurb is intentionally boring just to surprise us when we actually play it!

Grief: A sad story, I suppose.

The Hall of the Fount of Artois: Sounds interesting, but “You have one night…” suggests that there might be an irritating time limit, and the word “distraction” suggests that it might be a short and superficial game.

LAIR of the CyberCow: It seems to be a wacky parody, but the blurb suggests it might be actually funny.

The Lighthouse: Advice to competition authors: never, never put sentences like “This game is very short and also is my very first game!” in your game blurbs. It’s not encouraging. Also, don’t put obvious spelling mistakes like “foucus” instead of “focus”. It’s not encouraging, either.

The Lucubrator: The title reminds me of the French word “élucubrations”, which would suggest very crazy and improbable ideas. But according to my dictionary, the word “lucubrator” (I didn’t know it) seems much more serious than that. A game about a writer?

Magic: Maybe another game with Enchanter-like spells, like Berrost’s Challenge. I find the title a bit too obvious and generic for a story about magicians.

A Martian Odyssey: The subtitle is too detailed and complicated. I hope “interpersonal communication” isn’t just a fancy way of saying that you can talk to one NPC somewhere in the game :slight_smile: . But the blurb isn’t too bad.

The Missing Piece: “GUI text-based CRPG game”? But is it parser-based, at least? Otherwise, I’m not sure it’s appropriate for the IF Comp; or, at least, I wouldn’t be too interested.

Nerd Quest: A computer program written by a nerd for nerds. I also suspect it’s just a poor game written mainly as a demo for the author’s own homebrewed programming language.

The Ngah Angah School of Forbidden Wisdom: Wacky (and a bit silly) parody of fantasy stories, or of Harry Potter?

Nightfall: The name of the author (Eric Eve) suggests it’ll probably be a very good game, and the blurb doesn’t ruin that impression. The subtitle suggests it’ll be shorter than The Elysium Enigma.

Opening Night: A love story set in the 1930s or 1950s, perhaps?

Piracy 2.0: The title suggests it’s version 2.0 of software for cracking copy-protected games, but it’s obviously not true. The blurb says it’s about pirates and the subtitle says it’s in space, so I guess it must be about space pirates (brilliant deduction, isn’t it?). Apparently, it begins in a prison from which you must escape, which isn’t the most original beginning ever.

Project Delta: I like CYOA-style adventure gamebooks, but I never liked too much CYOA as computer games… And the words “short prequel” suggest it’s just a teaser, or a game the author couldn’t finish in time for the IF Comp.

Recess At Last: Sounds like a somewhat superficial story about a teenage boy.

Red Moon: Is this a remake of the Level 9 game?

Riverside: Not a bad title, but I just can’t guess what the game’s about with it.

Search for the Ultimate Weapon: Historical game about ancient China in which half the words are in Chinese. Might be interesting anyway.

Snack Time!: Seems to be a simple and unambitious game.

Trein: I suppose you mean “paying their taxes”, not “playing their taxes”? Otherwise, the blurb’s not too bad.

Violet: A story about a guy who has to write a story? Doesn’t sound very fascinating, but we’ll see.

When Machines Attack: A clichéd science fiction story about robots rebelling against humans?

Oops… Does this mean I don’t get to complain about spelling errors in Comp games? :slight_smile: