Rovarsson's EctoComp Impressions

The season’s ghoulish darkness has spread its wings and embraced me. The wind is howling, a red moon is peeking through the clouds.
I must speak of the horrors on this page:
Submissions to ECTOCOMP 2023

An eerie tale presented as a quiz. Many things are left unsaid, open to the reader’s interpretation. I sat awhile in silence, trying to imagine what happened to the characters in the gaps of the narrative. Then retreating from the horrors hiding between the lines.
Sometimes the horror-story is more soothing than the truth.

Note to author: I kept stumbling over the word “narrator” in the questions. Shouldn’t that be “protagonist”? Except if the narrator is the protagonist, talking about herself in the 2nd person?


Thank you so much for this impressions/review! Excited to read the rest of your thread.

Note-to-author response below!

Oh, great catch! I'm going to think on that. You're right, it leaves room for confusion. Oddly I do feel like the passages are being narrated by the protagonist, just in the second person (trauma distance)? But would a multiple choice test acknowledge it that way, as opposed to the accurate 'protagonist'? Much to think about.
  • Your Body a Temple, or the Postmodern Prometheus by Charm Cochran (@OverThinking )

Humanity: 20% / Monstrosity: 60% / Roboticism: 20% / Repulsiveness: 60%

Rebuild yourself, mix and match to your heart’s content. They have broken you. Now do you wish to lash out or protect yourself? Maybe a bit of both? The gentle doctor-voice will help you.
An intruiging process to consider my choices, and to ask myself why I picked precisely those options. I chose branches over scissorhands…

Note to author: “Your arms are ancient, ever-growing brnaches.” → braNches

  • Ah Lim’s Chicken Rice by Kastel (@Kastel)

Sweet and sour tale of ghosts. A daughter passing through. Notes of humour from a Ming vase, haunting for the closed-mind mother. A father dedicated to his girl.

Sudden understanding. Relief and grief rolled into one.


This one hurt. Bad.

It taps into the one fear I have above all others, the only real horror I can imagine in my personal life. My chest tightened and my eyes teared up. I feel so much of what Lucas’ father is going through. And, like him, it’s so hard to feel what’s in Lucas’ thoughts and feelings, deep down.

A father can only try to do his best…

I did encounter a bunch of typos. They took me out of the experience a bit.


Christ, this pile of picture books your aunt gave Lucas for his last birthday. As if Lucas was going to be into the moralistic tales of a raccoon. You’re glad he never got around to reading them to him. → She (the aunt)

About doing what right for your kids, even–no, espcially when they can’t see the big picture. → what’S ; espEcially

Secure the perimIter, Daddy! → perimEter

but the symbols you printed off are still leDgible. → legible

Your chest is tight and your distorted reflectionS stares back at you. → reflection (singular)

He’ll never loOse that eternal sense of adventure. → lose

“Yep,” Lucas his says, his voice a sigh like the creaking of the house. “Love you back, Daddy.” → remove first “his”

They get the unexpcted goodbye if they’re lucky and that’s it. → unexpEcted

Who are you doinT this for? Lucas or yourself? → doinG

But everyone grieves in the own way. → theIR


Strange and disorienting. A vignette floating in a near-void, only loosely connected to time and space through sparse references to him

I found myself projecting all kinds of half-formed interpretations onto this piece, ultimately rejecting them and letting it be what it is.

Strange and disorienting. And good.

  • The Loneliest House by Tabitha O’Connel (@alyshkalia)

Fence, door, dome.
Wood and paint, intricate carvings and ironwork designs.
Longing, imagination, indifference to all else.
A writer, a reader, a character, a house.

Peel them off one by one.
Look harder, feel deeper.

A meditative, transcendent exploration of the house on the hill.


Button-mashing text-style! Bring it!

The biggest skeleton of all is the game itself. White-boned and bare-knuckled, laughing its grinning skull off while hurling monsters at you.

I had fun.



You need an Android Device or an emulator. There is a comment on the Jam entry page (actually replying to me) with an emulator that will open the APK file.
EDIT: here

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  • End Of History by n2n (@n-n )

>Feed Kabbalic formula into ZX Spectrum
(Timeline properly out of whack)

>Crawl tiny dungeon
>Fix time

Rinse and repeat if so inclined.

This was impressive in its totally cool-played understatement of the subject.

Typo: “In all the buldings, live more families like yours,…” → buildings; (not so sure about the comma after buildings either)

  • ~~~~Into Darkness~~~~ by Jacic (@Jacic)

A tale of sorrow,
And comfort sought
Between the trees, by mirror pool,

This author has
Intently wrought.
Voice of shade and waters cool.

A ragged rhyme,
I’m out of time,
Ripples close above my head.

The sun is gone,
I have no rock
to cling to here…

Am I now dead?


Deeply, deeply disturbing. Nightmare stuff between the lines. The horrors of what’s left unsaid.

My mind took an associative leap to What’s He Building? by Tom Waits.


Oh wow that’s amazing the way you’ve responded to the game in kind. Thanks @Rovarsson!

1 Like
  • ConfigurationUploader by Autumn Chenn (@cchennnn)

----hah! My meat-self thinks she’s real! that farting bag of bones and fluids. i wish her and all the other meat bags a happy starburst! ----

----h…hh ello?.. I can’t hear… Is… is anybody out there? Anyone with a body I mean? could you pull the plug? please…I can’t…my hands are gone…this isn’t how I imagined…----

----oooh… I like this bodyless thing… it’s… floaty. when I had meaty bits he was always aching… heh, floaty…----

----So, how far are we with the updates? We’re gonna need some physical interaction interface if we want to gamma-proof the servers, people.----

----look mommy, no hands!----


Short but effectively scary. I didn’t find a way to save her. Maybe it wasn’t in God’s plan.

The setting does a lot of heavy lifting. It’s hard to find a place more filled with fear than the Temple of Kathol.

Great writing. Moody while terse, well-chosen highlighted details, good characterisation in few paragraphs.

----gestures the sign of the cross----

May you Walk in Peace.


Thank you so much, I’m glad you liked it!

1 Like
  • Meurtre dans la Station Spatiale by MaximeJr (@maximejr ?)

In the not too distant future, a biotechnologically enhanced judicial registrar puts the protagonist, a newly appointed detective, to the test by asking his opinion about a notable case in the early beginnings of spatial jurisdiction. While on the ride up to the space station in a space elevator (!coolest thing ever!). Better than softly droning musak, if I may say so…

Through his implants, the registrar can provide all reports in evidence in the case of a 1998 death (murder) in the ISS.
Careful, meticulous combing through these documents is necessary to form an opinion. In the end, inform the registrar of your judgment.

I liked this. A but dry, but that fits the subject matter. Thought-provoking too, with different national space agencies involved, raising questions about jurisdiction in space, power struggles and conflicting interests in space.

A straight-up murder mystery … in space.


Thanks for the review! That’s it, you basically summed up the game…