Rovarsson's Spring Thing 2022

Thin Walls

This is properly scary. I hope my bedroom walls don’t creak or my waterpipes gurgle tonight.

Great pacing. Very good juxtaposition of scenes (the languid daydream about a house by the river and the nightmarish disorienting run through the extending corridors). Poignant, piercing writing.

A deep and thoughtful ending.

And scary.

Very good piece.


Thank you very much!


I’ll second this one. The scoring in the upper right corner is neat. It’s also replayable, but more than that might be a spoiler.

It’s one I didn’t “get” the first time through and still liked, and when I replayed it, I saw even more.


New Year’s Eve, 2019

I played through once, as if I were in the one-way street called “Life”. After learning the basic background (social anxiety; an estranged group of people), I tried to maintain an open and honest approach without stressing the boundaries of my character too much. After all, these are (or at least were at some point in my life) friends, and if I hadn’t seen them in so long, I could hardly say anything too wrong now.

I got a tentative start to a romantic relationship with a lovely girl called Emily!

The writing is good. It reflects the inner uncertainty of the character without sacrificing too much tempo and readability. The recurring “Or something like that…” really drew me into my character’s state of mind.

The mechanics also support the story and the focus on character. There are blocked-off options to show that what might be conceivably realistic for a “normal” person isn’t for Qiuyi. And there are (overly?) optimistic choices that backfire and lead straight back to the anxiety in Qiuyi’s mind.

I loved the meta-self-reference in the conversation between Qiuyi and Emily, mostly because it’s entirely appropriate for their characters to view things like this. It’s not forced by the author’s cleverness but flows straight out of the characters’ personalities. It took me a beat to realize: “Hey, that’s what I’m doing right now.”

@cchennnn: I noticed that my status with Aubrey didn’t improve after I spoke to her a bit. Not only did the numbers stay at 0/5, but the text also stayed at “You haven’t spoken in a couple of years.”

I liked this.



That was … disconcerting.

I’m impressed with the bleak dystopic background world. The writing in the real-life portions of the game is idiosycratic (especially the intro) but very good.

I’m not convinced when it comes to interacting with the therapeutic program. The computer persona is well realized to the point of being scary. I’m not so sure about the PC though. The character feels to me as if dangling neither here nor there. I could not really get into character and play as the game’s protagonist because I have too little background information, but neither could I play as a semi-honest game-version of myself because I have too little agency. I feel the choices I make are being looped back and rerouted through the emotional state of the game’s protagonist whom I have no real knowledge of nor empathy with.

I got ending 4/6 (the deer), but I have no real understanding of how I steered the game this way (instead of, for instance, commiting suicide or having an honest conversation with my loved one).

An interesting experience that was ultimately not entirely satisfying.


Crow Quest

It’s fast, it’s badass, it talks the talk and walks the walk.

It’s also not my thing. The “u” and “ur” and “omg” hyper-testosteronated lingo really put me off.

The depiction of crows also clashes mightily with my mental image of them. I see them as sly and cunning coldly-observing opportunistic jacks-of-all-trades with a dark sense of humor, not slap-bang bigmouth back-alley hoodlums. But that’s me of course.

I very much like the art. Very expressive.


Crows are tough to pin down! I think there are a lot of neat ways they can be snarky or obnoxious or vexing.

FWIW, my view of crows was shaped by two fictional characters: Cheapside, the crow in Hugh Lofting’s Dr. Dolittle, and Stiletto, the wisecracking sidekick to Baron Greenback in DangerMouse. Each one could be seen as having a dark sense of humor and sort of being a back-alley hoodlum, so that sort of bridges the gap. Well, for me. So I’ll be interesting to see how the Crow in Crow Quest compares to them.


Some short impressions about two games I tested:

The Legend of Horse Girl

Oh @bitterkarella , the hilariously off-kilter hoops you get your players to jump through…

A puzzler which relies heavily on western tropes for the excellent atmosphere. A well-characterized PC, as I have seen in the Guttersnipe-games too. Lots of benignly stereotypical NPCs, comparable to those in the Lucky Luke comic strips (Lucky Luke - Wikipedia).

I’ve seen quite a bit of comments in the “Hint”-section of the Forum about the bezoar-puzzle. Personally, I think back most fondly to the telegraph-puzzle.

Custard & Mustard’s Big Adventure

Since The Faeries of Haelstowne (my favourite in ParserComp 2021) @ChristopherMerriner has substantially improved his Adventuron-wrangling skills.

Loads of NPCs, hilarious intermezzos, satisfying puzzles. Great change of pace about two thirds in, when the game suddenly becomes serious after one of the PCs overhears an evil thieving scheme.

Best feline NPC ever.


The Hole Man

I’ve been playing this for over an hour with a baffled smile on my face.

It’s as if someone has squished Oz and Wonderland together and mixed in an extra scoop of creepy alienation.

I feel like a kid in a toy shop where the toys are after me, some to play together and some to gobble me up.

Fascinating and bewildering.


All right, who blabbed my recipe??


And is that a sprinkle of … hmmm, wait…-sniff-slurp-smack-… clown laughter at the back of the palate?


You’re so close! It’s mime laughter. Hard to get but worth the expense of extracting it.


Thanks for reviewing my little story - it was great fun to write.


Thank yóú for writing and publishing it. It was great fun to read.