Revival Jam - One more time!

Normally I start my review thread as soon as the jam ended, but I still had to finish my ST entry, and reviewing (queued) the SeedComp! one (come and vote plssss only 3 days left to do so!). Just too much at once :joy:

So yeah…
While we’re all super excited about the Spring Thing games dropping today, I wanted to take just a bit of space for the Revival Jam entries, that dropped last month. It’s a lovely small bunch of games crated in about 10 days, each linked to a past jam or comp (or multiple) in the way the gameplay/writing/interface has been restricted.

Anyway, you can find the games either on itch or listed on the IFDB!

I’ve also entered this one myself, with FIA. A silly micro parser made in just over 2 consecutive hours.

9 Likes

Usually I go first submitted to last, but we’re going backward this time:

Neapolitan, by Rylie Eric

Note: Followed the Return to your Roots (2022 - 3 entries) and Trans Rep 2022 (2022 - 23 entries) jams

Neapolitan is a collection of three linear story meant for previous jams but never released until now. It was made in Twine. The stories are named after the Neapolitan ice cream flavours: Vanilla (following the creation of an Ice Cream Clicker), Chocolate (a story about break ups and moving on), and Strawberry (a conversation between twins about their struggles). When you clear them all, you get to read an Author’s note about the game and themself.

Although they are pretty short, each story do convey realistically struggles of doing things with your life, navigating through relationships, and accepting one’s self. It was fun to see each flavour being referenced in their respective stories. Like the ice cream, it was sweet.

Note: I am not sure why but the whole background seemed like it was glitching every time I moved to another screen?

3 Likes

sojourn, by @30x30

Note: Followed the Neo-Twiny Jam that we ran last year (and are running again in June!)

sojourn is a micro interactive story, with a very intriguing way of formatting its text. Rather than having a clear beginning or end, the game lets you interact with the different links to display further text, but never more than two blocks at a time. All the paragraphs are connected with one another through these links, and you must cycle through different block to be able to read everything.

As for the delectable prose, it is really “a love letter to many things” as the blurb informs us. At time melancholic, serious, mathematical, musical, or even cheesy, the different little paragraph describe the things that the author holds dear to their heart. It’s delightful, and I was gushing all the way through reading it!

3 Likes

Malachi And The Quest for Attention, by João Aguiar

Note: Followed the Single Choice Jam (which will be coming back later this summer too!)

Malachi And The Quest for Attention is a short story in Twine following the titular character in his quest to get people’s attention. Yearning for onlooker’s gaze on him, Malachi performs every day to the best of his ability, whether it is singing, juggling or dancing - though few pay attention to his display of skills. No matter how hard he tries, he fails to entice passers-by to stop and truly look at him.

In his desperation, Malachi turns to his friend Agnes, a fortune teller, who - unlike him - sees many people coming to her. Agnes, who believes in the mystical, shares with Malachi a way for him to grab people’s attention, if he doesn’t mind messing with people’s dream…

With the entry based on the Single Choice Jam, this is where the player’s path branch out: Malachi can stay and listen to Agnes’s proposition, call it a night, or brood by himself for a while. The different paths have an interesting take on the wish for validation for one’s work and how to deal with the failure of fulfilling this wish - whether it is letting it go of the pressure to achieve a certain level of attention or making it consume your whole self.

Quite distressing in its relatability. I liked it quite a bit!

3 Likes

Skipping Bradisson Rayburn’s Revenge! for now because I am stuck (I have all the items you could carry, but can’t get onto the stage so…

Labyrinth, by @KATan

Note: Followed the Mini Jam 51 - Rome

Labyrinth is a short interactive story made in Twine, where you play as the Minotaur, who after a long period of isolation, decides to leave the labyrinth he calls its home and venture out into the world. But before he does so, the beast takes a moment to recollect the time spent in this place and say goodbye to the comforting space.

The writing is strangely prophetic, starting with a snippet of Jorge Luis Borges’ The House of Asterion, which is followed by Today is the day. The day you will leave this place. You can’t explain how you know this, but you know it as firmly as the horns are attached to your head. in the next screen. Yet, the hint is just subtle enough not to realise the inevitable end that is coming. It ripped my heart out when I read the final words…

This was a really good entry!

3 Likes

Kel (2024, words on screen), by @alyshkalia

Note: Followed the IF Art Shot

Kel (2024, words on screen) is a short interactive piece, describing the portrait of the titular character through snippets, each focusing on a part of a face or movement, before closing on the overall picture. You can really explore in details the face of Kel, as the IF Art Show, the jam inspiring the game, required.

Each section is just a sentence long, small enough to fit the rectangle interface, which mimics the frame of a portrait fixed on a wall. You can move from one section to another through the links mentioning another part of the face.

This entry reminded me of those studies of paintings, that would describe in details a piece with such vividness you could almost imagine it standing right in front of your eyes.

4 Likes

Twines everywhere.

The Chosen Path, by @RockmanX

Note: Followed the Tiyn Utopia Jam, IF Arcade, Speed-IF XYZZY, The Emily Short Anniversary Contest, the Recipe Jam and the Smoochie Jam.

The Chosen Path is a Twine interactive game where you are an unnamed AFGNCAAP character on a path to become a martial artist in some sort of unnamed and unreal world. Along your way, you come across Dr Syrup, the main antagonist of the game, which you will need to overcome to rescue the Author and Emily Short (and win a prize?).

This is as far as I could make sense of it, as the story is more of an absurd amalgam of references (which seem more done for the sake of referencing), than a coherent narrative. Even with its very linear progression (you don’t have more than 3-4 real choices in the 122 passages of the file), I was more confused with how parts moved from one another… until I gave up and wrote it off as this is all either just a dream or a really bad trip.

I’m not super sure of the point of using Emily Short as an NPC here, especially one that you’d need to rescue. With how influential she has been in the space (which the game acknowledges), it would have made more sense for her to have enough PLOT ARMOUR to not have been in this situation to begin with. Or that she would need the player’s “capabilities” to make her weapon work better than she could. It felt cheap.
But then again, I’m never really comfortable with the use of actual regular living people being used in games period (especially if the person has not given their consent for it).

As a game structure, when looking at the available actions and how the game responds to the player, it does feel like a missed opportunity not have used a parser format (or a hybrid one for the 2-3 choices there are). You are often set into rooms where you can EXAMINE objects or sometimes yourself, TAKE some of them, or USE others. There is also a section where you need to navigate through different rooms, with all the NSWE (and the diagonals) listed - all aside one being valid (the having to go back and forth is tedious). As for the Alice in Wonderlan - like puzzle (EAT/DRINK) it could have been an interesting puzzle of pacing out which item to use to get to the right height.

3 Likes

There are actually two parser entries for this jam, if Twine is not your style :woman_shrugging: . Mine, in Adventuron, and Lance (am currently stuck).

1 Like

stomping grounds, by @sophia

Note: Followed the Tiyn Utopia Jam

stomping grounds is a short Twine piece dedicated to a friend, as a reminder of a promise once made: to one day, going fishing and camping. Formatted as a calendar, each date is linked to a short snippet, like a daily nudge to not forget about said promise.

The snippets depict different elements related to fishing or camping, like the noise from the wind crashing into the tent, or how fire can be dangerous but oh-so worth it because it can warm up the much needed coffee, or that we need to make sure to bring a first-aid kit, or how liberating and invigorating a plunge into a lake can be. By focusing on all the little things, the piece reminds us of the powerful and exhilarating connection we can have with the simpleness of Nature.

Thanks to its expressive prose, with its vivid depictions, Romantic (artistic) description of Nature, and still realistic portrayals of what could be, the game really painted a sincere picture of camping… and it’s making me want to do so myself too.

3 Likes

tiny ratopia, by alyshkalia

Note: Followed the Tiyn Utopia Jam

tiny ratopia is a one-page entry where you are a little rat in your cage enjoying the warmth of your surrounding, with your brothers by your side. A movement stirs you, prompting you to recall your routine and what you will do later. But now, now you keep enjoying the warmth.

It is quite the cozy piece, depicting what a utopia would be for a tiny being (here a rat, with few needs and all being met), using simple structures and vocabulary to encapsulate the mind of the little creature. And the entry finishes with the perfect message: focus on the now, because now, everything is great.

2 Likes

and finally

Bradisson Rayburn’s Revenge!, by @Scrooge200

Note: Followed the Big Trashy Twine Jam

Bradisson Rayburn’s Revenge! is a short parser where you play as a contestant in a show hosted by Bradisson Rayburn, with the hope of winning the show altogether. As you are a bit worried about it, you explore the studio, collecting along the way items you believe you can use to your advantage (among them, the return of the Sprinklepill). Ensue a series of trials, where your items end up being quite helpful!

I didn’t manage to get to the end the first time I played, not understanding why I couldn’t get to set no matter how long I waited. It wasn’t until I restarted the game and re-explored everything, trying to examine almost every noun on the screen and trying to take every single named items that I unlocked the next part (and finished the game).

The second section focuses on the actual show, and the different trials you must go through to win the game on set. The items helps you along to get to the top (the game actually will push you to use them, you can’t really play it “in good faith”), though I am unsure why we had to pick up certain things if we couldn’t really use them (was there maybe more trials to use the cup or the pot? or did I miss something?). Or why we couldn’t use them against other contestants (why not zap everyone and win by default :P)

I also still don’t get why Bradisson was targetting us like this with his trials, especially the last one being quite “something”, but hey, if you manage to piss him off enough, you get to win! Well, not so much as winning as more getting some self respect, I guess… :P. Will we ever know what beef Bradisson has with us?

Attached is my second playthrough (the complete one) bradisson.txt (23.8 KB), if this can help at all (maybe for the synonyms?).

4 Likes

I guess one final short post for me :stuck_out_tongue:

FIA: The Vacuum Cleaner, by manonamora
This is a short parser made in Adventuron, where you play as FIA, a little repair robot tasked to check what is wrong with and repair a vacuum cleaner. This little parser was created and coded in a little over 2 consecutive hours (about 2h30 :sob: ) - so I missed the 2h-deadline of the Speed-IF jams. It’s all fine, because the old EctoComps had a 3h deadline :partying_face:
Anyways, it’s a little prototype, that you can pretty much solve in 5-10min max.


A little bit more about the Jam itself.

The Neo-Interactives aim with the jams we organise every month to help people get creative and think outside of the box when it comes to making games. We’re often influenced by past jams when thinking of new events to organise. And because there are way too many past IF jams that we would want to bring forward, we thought it would be neat to just… all of them in one jam! where participants could pick and choose which one they would want to follow.

Most entries picked a past IF-focused jam, with Tiny Utopia IF being the most used, while a handful chose a more general itch.io one (we allowed any jam or comp as long as we could find its rules). A handful even picked our own past jam as a base :partying_face:

So yeah :slight_smile: Hope you got to learn about cool events that happened before and enjoyed some neat entries!

:wave:

5 Likes

I certainly did! I loved reading through (and helping update!) old event pages on IF Wiki, and it was very cool to get to feel like I was retroactively participating in some. Thanks to all the organizers, and thank you for your reviews!

2 Likes

Thanks for playing this! The way you unlock the show is kind of unintuitive, but I couldn’t really find a better way to implement it. Once the show starts, you can’t go back into any studios, and I didn’t want to lock the player out of victory or prevent them from looking for alternate solutions. The cup is a red herring, but for the pot, you can use it as a non luck-based way to win the third trial. I originally wasn’t going to have the other contestants there at all, but I felt like there needed to be some competition.

The ending was pretty rushed because I was at the very end of the dev cycle, I was tired, and I just wanted to wrap the game up in a functional way. I could’ve given more hints as to what Bradisson’s deal is, especially because I had another reviewer say the title is kind of a lie :P.

1 Like

I’ll have more to discuss about The Chosen Path in my review and post-mortem. Right now, I think I’m not ready to share, as some things are not quite clear yet.

Regardless, thank you Manon for the review.

1 Like