Rovarsson's Spring Thing 2022

Let me in turn agree with everything you say here! I’m also a big fan of @chrism’s games – I love his writing and sensibility – and tested both the ones you mention, so am very aware of the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to wrangle Adventuron’s parser into a more player-friendly form. It is a good amount of work, though, and one cool thing about Adventuron is that it seems like it’s bringing in new authors for whom that might be daunting.

So I think reviews like yours here, flagging what’s good about a game while also mentioning that implementation challenges that make it harder for a player are really good – hopefully the player-facing tips are also useful for helping folks figure out how to get over the potholes and enjoy the good stuff!

(OK, I’ll stop derailing your review thread to bang on about Adventuron now)


In my experience, it’s impossible to bang on too much about Adventuron.


As an Adventuron author I largely agree with this. I see it as the author’s responsibility to manage these things, and while it can be a lot of work it is also a joy (or perhaps I have a strange concept of joy :smiley:).

It is a long learning process, though, and I find I’m still tweaking and improving my strategy for it a dozen games in. I’m always quite forgiving of parser frustration in newer authors’ games as a result. (For me it can be part of the charm of playing a game by somebody who’s new to the system, though maybe that’s because I’ve played a lot of such games!)

(And yes, I too will let you get back to your reviews now.)


@dee_cooke , @DeusIrae , @ChristopherMerriner

Oh, derail away and bang on about your pet IF language all you want. I was procrastinating anyway.

(Actually, I was busy laughing my arse off with the antics my PC gets up to in Wry.)



I’m suspecting the author of Wry of having a bit of a wry sense of humour.

It’s a very funny game, well written with a great sense of timing. You get a good feel for the PC whose mind seems to be playing embarassing (and somewhat pleasant…) tricks on him. In his confusion, slapstick ensues…

Expect to play through at least a few times to explore the surroundings to the fullest, remember the shortcuts and see what comes up. For the rest, as the response to HELP says: “You’re on your own. You can do it.” I won’t tell you any more.

I’ll be playing The Bones of Rosalinda next.


The Bones of Rosalinda

I had a blast with this!

A comedy-fantasy story with a sense for the macabre. An interesting NPC-who-turns-coPC with great deadpan delivery of his lines. Some good puzzlework in a slowly opening-up map.

Also: A Twine that plays like a parser, with all the fiddliness we’ve become accustomed to but still like to grumble about. (“We” being parser players)

EDIT: @fos1 and @ChristopherMerriner . Remember this thread: ParserComp 2022 is open! - #16 by J_J_Guest? About allowing Gruescript games in ParserComp. If the clicketiness of Gruescript is allowed, then a Twine like this, with a freely explorable map, object tracking, inventory juggling and lock-and-key puzzles should also meet the requirements. Blurring lines, I like it.

Full review: The Bones of Rosalinda - Details (

My next game will be The Wolf and Wheel.


Huh, my previous comment made me realize. For a self-designated parser player, I sure am liking the click/choice games a lot.


joinnnnn ussssssss



-fires up Anchorhead…CLIMB RUBBISH BIN…X UMBRELLA…JUMP…wipes sweat from brow-

Aaah! Much better now.


I have a pet theory that we should understand this period of IF history through a Hegelian/Marxist [1] framework – after the conflict between the thesis of parser and the antithesis of choice has subsided, we’re now in a time of synthesis, with authors moving more freely between and even blending the styles (with the audience following along). My crackpot elaboration of the pet theory is that in so doing, we’re kind of reinventing the graphic adventure except this time there mostly aren’t graphics (one day I will write this up, because I swear it makes sense).

[1] All I know about Marx is I read the Communist Manifesto and was entertained to learn that ~75% of it is diss tracks aimed at other, loser socialist groups. All I know about Hegel is I read 50 pages of the Phenomenology of Spirit and knew less about Hegel than I did when I started. So this nomenclature may not be 100% correct.


The Wolf and Wheel

The sacred burden of the innkeeper: listen to the patron’s stories, empathize with them, never tell anyone else. The innkeeper in this story goes deeper than most. He enters into the stories and somehow changes them.
Great setup for questions about choice and free will, the purpose of life and the nature of evil. The philosophy is a bit heavyhanded sometimes. Answering a question about the value of life by choosing from a list of choices feels forced.
The stories have a folklore quality. Powerful symbols and a magic-realist feel. The background world is intruiging: somehow the sun has stopped rising, leaving the people in constant night…
While I liked the content of the tales, the writing (choice of words, sentence structure,…) feels off sometimes, jagged and not fluent.
The artwork is very beautiful. I wanted more of it. I am not fond of the choice of letter type however, it doesn’t mesh well with the dreamy content. Maybe something more rounded or resembling handwriting would work better?

A good read which could be polished and edited some more.

Next up: Fairest.



A twisted tapestry of Grimm’s fairy-tales, broken up and rearranged. Disturbing, immersive, satisfying.
Meticulously implemented too.
The player-PC division was apparently added at the eleventh hour. @AmandaB , I stand in awe at how well you pulled this off. It adds a layer of depth I can hardly fathom. (hah)
True to fairy-tale endings, this one has a heavyhanded moral too. It’s a bit different though…

Extremely good game. One for the XYZZYs and the all-time IF top 50. (For those interested: most recent: Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time (2019 edition) - Details (

Full review: Fairest - Details (

Next: The Fall of Asemia


The Fall of Asemia

An intruiging, compelling story. Form fits content.

I like being thrown into the middle of a story and making sense of it bit by bit. (I read fantasy series out of order on purpose…)
The fact that I-as-protagonist am laboriously translating that story from unknown source material reinforces the feeling of discovery.

Well worth a read, and then another.

I’ll play Orbital Decay next.


Orbital Decay

A realistic depiction of troubleshooting a spaceship in fase red-alert. I like real-world puzzles and solutions. I didn’t feel the urgency in the situation to back up the puzzles though.
This game felt more like an interactive training drill to memorize procedure, with me constantly aware that I was in the simulator.
Nice use of pictures. Using real photographs brings the game closer to the player than drawings would. On the other hand, I thought they also added to the clinical feel.

Good, but not my cuppa.

Next up: Filthy Aunt Mildred


Filthy Aunt Mildred

A breathless nauseating repulsive compelling read from start to finish.

The many asides carefully pace the story up to the brilliant grand finale.

I loved it.

Edit: “Cesspit” is an appropriate word. Insert “cesspit” somewhere in the previous sentences. Anywhere.

Next up: The Box


The Box

Tinkering time!

Poke a little here, scratch a little there…
See what pops out…
Scratch head and then repeat…


Although I would have liked my frustrated efforts to BREAK and HIT and KICK the box to be recognized with more than a “I didn’t understand.” or a “Violence is seldom the answer.”

Come on, you’re leaving a pun-possibility like KICK BOX just lying around in the open?

Next will be Bigfoot Bluff.


Thank you for the feedback and for playing; much appreciated!


Bigfoot Bluff

A free-range point-gathering game with many achievements to attain. (And many hilariously zany “Huh?”-moments.)

I wish the sandboxy nature of the game was expanded even more. I call for everyone to make a transcript with the most outlandish commands your brain comes up with and send it to @pbparjeter , for future reference in the making of Bigfoot Bluff, the Definitively Zany Version.

I had lots of fun with this. It could use a thorough last polishing though. Elaborate customization for unnecessary commands would carry the spirit of the game a lot higher.

I’ve read the intro of the next game and it’s promising: Sweetpea



My finger hovering above each new click. What’s on this next page? Purposely choosing to rummage through the desk, delaying going to the door a bit longer…

A confounding blur of images. Scenes of dream? and real? overlapping. One comes, one stays, one goes away…

Gripping story told in well-chosen shades of purple. Haunting imagery.

I’ll be digesting this story for a while.

Next, in search of something soothing after this experience, I’ll go play with The Bright Blue Ball.


Great choice. :smile: