ParserComp 2021 Review

Daddy’s birthday (by @Jonathan) is the first game playable on my phone and simple enough to finish quickly. I give it 4 out of 5.

Somewhat sparse, but enough details not to feel barren.

Spoilers follow

Somewhat linear, but nice touches overall. Kiss daughter yields loving family. Kiss table yields eccentric behavior.

I’m having trouble finding ways to apply ice pack. I keep trying WEAR PACK but unsuccessful.

Remember to put the pack in freezer once you’re done with it.

WIFE is accepted, as well as MUMMY. MOMMY, MOM, MUM aren’t. It took me awhile to figure out what’s Egyptian Mummy has anything to do with birthday.

Cannot take chairs.

I’m thinking maybe KISS WIFE is a good substitute for thanking her.

XYZZY works. Didn’t try PLUGH.

Great job for something done in a weekend, or was it afternoon?

End of review


Waiting for the day train by @dee_cooke

Adventuron game playable on my phone. Puzzles are okay, but description is somewhat lacking. I still don’t know why I can get the fishing pole from one place, but not the other. I think description can be more detailed so faraway objects are clearly faraway.

Pictures are good; Photographs, better! I like the graphics very much.

Implementation is so-so.

Overall 3 out of 5. I want to give it 3.5 because the photos are so good.

You see nothing interesting

Of course. There’s absolutely nothing interesting about some random superheroes making out in some random ParserComp entry, after all. :sweat_smile:

I appreciate the VERBS hint, even if most of it is unused.

I scored 49. Unsure what the max score is.

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Games can be found referred to here:

Foreign Soil

by Olaf Nowacki

It seems like it’s a further implementation of IntroComp entrant, year 2020. I’m skipping it for now because ParserComp entries are supposed to be made from scratch. I may review it once Comp period has passed.

I’m skipping these games for lack of platform access:

Arkham Abomination by catventure

Grandpa’s Ranch by Kenneth Pedersen

Somewhere, somewhen by Older Timer

Yesternight by Robert Szacki

As interesting as their premises are, I just can’t be bothered installing the proper emulation/interpreter for these games. I apologize for not trying harder.

Thanks for the kind review of Daddy’s Birthday. It initially took a night and a day to write, but the beta-testing process took over my life for a month :slight_smile:


From the ParserComp rules: “8.3 Any game previously entered into IntroComp, but which is now complete, may be entered into ParserComp.”


Snowhaven by @Grizel

The other adventuron game. The pictures look good. The emotion of the game feels good. I think this succeeds as iyashikei type of game.

But the game does involve puzzles, specifically hunting down ingredients for stew.

Didn’t work. I had to READ MUSHROOM CHICKEN STEW. I think it works well enough outside cabin.

The map area is rather small, and unfortunately I don’t know what to do with it.


I personally think that VERB NOUN means that NOUN is available and within reach, instead for something to get.

Personally, I think the game can use more hints as I feel that description is lacking. Guess the Verb is bad enough, but at times, this game feels like Guess the Noun.

I think I suffered enough. I didn’t finish the game, and therefore no score.

Edit: If I have to score, 1 out of 5. Good emotive environment, ruined by Guess the Noun puzzles.

Edit: What I gather from another post, it’s part of the puzzle structure. So, evidently, it’s a stylistic choice. I suppose there’s nothing wrong with that kind of style if you like it. It’s just not my style.

Fivebyfivia by @aschultz

I have no idea what this is. Looks like a chess game, but if so, the board should be visible at all times. The fact that I have to type MAP is irksome. The small default font is not helping either. Maybe there should be instructions on how to enlarge the font. I seriously considered to just download the game and play it locally with Frotz. But such is bad luck. I’m not feeling happy lately and I just don’t see why I should care. Sorry.

I think there’s a mistake in tutorial, where the Queen was threatening the King, but the text says the Rook was. I’m also confused why the knight which is at the center doesn’t seem to block the attack.

Another curiosity is Queenside Rook and Kingside Rook. Hmmm. I don’t think it matters which is which. Chess notation is usually by file or rank. So, another confusion.

I’m really confused by it all. I don’t even care to learn how to move the piece, which as far as I can tell is a knight, and should move in L shape.

Looks like chess. Doesn’t act like chess. It’s just different enough to be off-putting.

FYI, the last command I put in was tut and that should tell you that I got nowhere quick. Sorry.

Gruesome by @robinjohnson

Looks fantastic. Font enlargement, great hints facilities, even a walkthrough.

I’ve been lost here for some time. I think the biggest drawback is the biggest draw: the game is so big, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to properly evaluate the game, much less finish. I’ll put it in my back burner for now and will come back later.

Should you play it? I think so. I like what I see so far. I have the feeling that this game is so good, that I won’t mind paying money for. :money_mouth_face::+1:

This is just perfect. I want to see more games like this. 5 out of 5.

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This is a minor point, but they did have to be disambiguated some way. That seemed like the easiest. Perhaps I should put in a jibe that riffs on that.

More seriously, it shouldn’t be hard to give the player an option to toggle the default view when you go to a new room. So that’d be very handy. Thanks for these observations!

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I don’t know if you put in the work, but this can be Rad4 and Rfd4, or R1d4 and R7d4. Or just Rook1 and Rook2. But if it’s really chess, then i usually just call the square it’s on. So instead of R2d2, it is Rf2d2 or just f2d2.

I think it’s good that you’re being original, but I just don’t understand it, and the current tutorial doesn’t seem to do it for me. I’m willing to give it another chance. Please let me know if you update the tutorial. This doesn’t have to be in-game. A simple text file will do. Thanks.

Well, thanks for trying anyway =)

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I hope you will get better reception elsewhere. I really like the environment. The way you set up the player to cook a warm stew against the heart of cold winter is brilliant. It’s too bad the way the puzzles are set up is totally incompatible with me.

Don’t worry, I won’t be scoring you low. Knowing that the game simply isn’t for me means I will not submit the score.

Take care.

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I understand! Thank you for your comment!


The maximum score in ‘Waiting for the Day Train’ is 65. The messages at the end give you an indication of what you did that was scored. The most obscure one is that you earn 1 point if you don’t say XYZZY.

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I think your review of ‘Snowhaven’ was a bit harsh. Although it’s not perfect, I rated it very high. I’ve played both the pleasant and emotive versions and found that it has an extremely comprehensive set of responses to the examination of scenery and objects. You can examine just about anything and get a sensible response. That is where you will get most of your clues. I can only guess that you didn’t examine things well enough, if at all.

I have sent some retrospective test comments to the author and she has done some updates. I had a look through my test reports and I don’t think there was one example of a guess-the-verb or guess-the-noun situation that needed to be addressed, although I did suggest some synonyms.


Guess the Verb and Guess the Noun are two different things. I cannot handle the latter. If you can, then you’re a better person than me. I’m still entitled to my opinion.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

That said maybe you have to ask yourself why you were compelled to score something with a 1, given you’d pointed out things you liked about it first and given the obvious efforts the author had gone to. To me this suggests a problem with your approach because you are putting something well constructed but (in your opinion) flawed, in the same basket as things that had no attention given to them by the author whatsoever.

I score movies on IMDb regularly. There are lots of movies I find so awful and tedious, but I’d never score a well made movie a rock bottom score. In fact I’ve never scored anything below a two, although.i was sorely tempted sometimes.

There are definite “1” games out there but even if everyone acknowledges and concedes every point you made in your review, which up to the score reveal was (in my opinion) a bit on the grumpy side but also constructive criticism, the logical score is a 2, because the game was made with love and you saw good in it.

That said, there are people that score everything highly out there too, and gloss over the faults, so absolutely you have the right to score things your own way too, and maybe it all comes out in the wash.

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(emphasis mine)

I think you just answered your own question.

(Folded by Mod due to flag)

Perhaps you should be more emphatic and consider the full extent of “I suffered.”

You have to consider that if something looks totally foreign and unrelatable, it will turn people off. An obviously flawed implementation but good idea does merit a 2, as you say. An unobvious flawed implementation will be blamed on the platform. (1) In this case, Adventuron.

I can tell you that not only I suffered through this game, but also fear that there may be other Adventuron games that adapt the same puzzle structure.(2) That is worth negative point in my book.

Therefore, knowing that I am outside of the intended demographic, not submitting the score is the proper action to take. Edit: giving a work of art a low score just because it’s not to your taste is worse than omitting the score!

(Folded by Mod due to flag)

(End edit)

Maybe you should politely ask what my reasoning is, instead of rudely assume that I don’t know what I’m doing and demand that I should change my mind, without any justifiable reason to do so. (3)

(1) This implies that Paul Pank’s games will get higher scores.
(2) is it the library? Tutorial? Or both? Definitely not the writer because it is consistent.
(3) At least I have the decency to ask. Anyway, I don’t have to give a full reason. As long as Grizel understands, that’s all I care.

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