Rovarsson's ParserComp 2021

Hello there!

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. (EDIT: The game has been updated since I wrote this.)
-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.
-Somewhere Somewhen: Oldschool puzzling for puzzling’s sake. The homegrown parser took some getting used to (type HELP on your first turn). I enjoyed mapping the place and taking notes for the puzzles a lot.

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”.


Welcome back. I’m so glad you survived the killer cows.

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We had a close encounter of the stunning kind with a deer. I don’t know who was more surprised.


There was a recent incident in Royal National Park (east coast of NSW, just south of Sydney) where two naked men sunbathing on a beach were startled by a deer, ran off into the bush and got lost. They required police and emergency services to rescue them and got fined $1000 each for breaching Covid restrictions. This spawned a musical parody by The Robertson Brothers on radio 2GB.

So, I hope you were fully clothed during your stunning encounter with the deer.


Wolfhide loincloth and double-bit axe, as befitting an adventurer roaming unknown woods. Also sunscreen and Chanel N°5.


Ha, ha, ha. You didn’t lose your sense of humour while you were in France. :rofl:


The Faeries of Haelstowne review:

The Faeries Of Haelstowne - Details (


Grooverland review:

Grooverland - Details (