Yes, France was wonderful, thank you so much for asking. Beautiful weather, lots of hikes up and down the hills. Might have been better if we had a few more rainy days, keep me cooped up playing parser-games…
There are a few games in my “to revisit”- folder, but I have played most of them for at least a few hours, if not to completion. I’ll give some short impressions here now and add links to the IFDB-reviews when I write them.
-Faeries of Healstowne: Love-hate relationship with this one. Beautiful setting, wonderful descriptive prose. Also: guess-the-verb/noun and read-the-author’s-mind.
-The Arkham Abomination: A slice of lovecraftian life. An enjoyable investigation described in hellishly blackish-purple prose. Every single tree is gnarled and or twisted and the swamps are eerie. Not enough gravitas or lore to my tastes.
-Foreign Soil: Well-designed, constrained but not cramped map and puzzle. Overly forgiving in places. Also: if I’m standing in front of an underground lake on an alien planet and I X WATER, I don’t mean the empty little plastic bottle I’m holding…
-Return to the Stars: Feels like the intro to a bigger game. I really didn’t like when violence was the answer to that one…
-The Time Machine: Again, feels like a demo or an intro, this time of a game I would like to see expanded. Good writing and atmosphere, not enough substance. This one begs to be embiggened.
-The Day Train: (Too) easy and straightforward. Extremely intruiging (and sparse) hints at the surrounding game-world. I’d play a fullblown sequel…
-Acid Rain: Disappointing when I first approached it as a mystery-story. Great fun when I changed mindset to fewest-moves-optimization.
-Daddy’s Birthday: Funny, cute, easy. You need to know the background story to enjoy it though (which is easy enough, just type ABOUT).
-Grandpa’s Farm: Basic tutorial aimed at children. My 7-year-old son liked it.
-Grooverland: I always like when a dimension tries to eat another. Also: great original puzzles!
-Gruesome: Fantastic one-sentence writing. Great role reversal. The puzzles are more than good enough to keep my attention once the gimmick has worn out.
-Snowhaven (emotional mode): Wondrously touching. Bittersweet story about loss and connection. Very evocative short sentences.
I will revisit some of these and I’ll try to play the ones I don’t mention here in the following week-and-a-bit.
Quick note on my voting behavior: I’m going to score the games compared to each other, not to the bulk of IF I have ever played. Five stars then means the same thing as SpringThing’s “Best in Show”.