Short Game ShowCase Mini-Reviews! (Complete!)

Now that I am done with the ShuffleComp (until the voting starts…), I’m gonna play some short games!
Many of titles were familiar to me, because I’d seen them in other comps and jams (and reviewed them). But there are still quite a bit that are new :partying_face:

70 entries to check (again) (minus the three I submitted)

Showcase Thread - Itch Page - IFDB

Skipping the following because I made them:

Also I will re-link the OG thread where the previously played games were reviewed.


Remembrance, by E. Joyce

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam

After replaying the game, I still stand by the review. Very touching and emotional.



First Submitted to The Bare-Bones Jam

The game has not changed since I last played it, but replaying it made me appreciate the dialogue between the two characters even more. I could imagine the scene play so clearly in my head.


how do i love you?, by Sophia de Augustine

First Submitted to the Anti-Romance Jam

Another entry living rent-free in my head. Love can be such a powerful thing :green_heart:


my heart, bared., by Sophia de Augustine

First Submitted to the Single Choice Jam

Now that I deep-dove into the Fallen London lore (after I played first the game), the creepy undertone of the writing and the setting refocuses the story in a way that makes it even more poignant.
I still stand by all the words I wrote in that review, especially the last sentence! :stuck_out_tongue:


Your Body a Temple, or the Postmodern Prometheus, by Charm Cochran

First Submitted to the EctoComp, La Petite Mort Category

This one hasn’t changed since it was first published. Pretty fun, maybe one of the few games with the biggest replayability I’ve played this year.
I still giggle at the name of the review I put on the IFDB: Build-a-bear but make it monster


NEST, by Ryan Veeder

First Created for Day 2 of #EnigMarch
Also the first game on the list I didn’t play last year

An enigma in the form of a Text Adventure, tested by nobody, made in a short amount of time.
[there are no hint or help commands, or walkthrough]

Word-play-ish parser my beloathed…
Mixing exploration and two mini-puzzles (maybe more? I only found two), the central bit of the game is trying to find a special command to help you navigate the world. The game includes some hints through your actions, or talking to NPCs, and… well, the name of the game is related to it.
I needed to restart the game a few times, because I kept being stuck (ending up in a room where that command is necessary, but I still didn’t find it, so no exiting the room for me!). Reading back through the played commands after finding the word made it all the more obvious what you’re supposed to find.
Thank you, Mike for helping me out!!

While there is no real story in this one, it’s full of humour, with funny replies to actions and commands. Looking at yourself, picking up the key, or talking to the birds… it was delightful…
…even if very frustrating for me :joy:


Cycle, by alyshkalia

First submitted to the Anti-Romance Jam

Still one of the best timeloop game I’ve ever played. Done so well!


Successor, by 30x30

First submitted to the Neo-Twiny Jam

I think re-reading this entry came at a right time for me. I’ve been reading some bummer sci-fi recently (not really dystopia but pretty pessimistic about ecology), and the world being… well what it is… :woman_shrugging:
It starts maybe a bit bleak, but the optimism and hope the writing brings is very welcomed.
Impressive for just 500 words.


eurydice exhumed, by sweetfish

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam

Still the same as during SCJ. Still freaking creepy. Still super disturbing.
Good thing I’m not going to sleep right away, because this is the stuff of nightmare (if you love body horror, here’s your game…).


vanitas, by sweetfish

First submitted to the Neo-Twiny Jam

It’s in my Fav games published in 2023 list. I think that’s says enough.
Still so wowed by the how perfect the UI is throughout the game.


Palazzo Heist, by Julien Z / smwhr

First submitted to the Neo Twiny Jam

I remembered the bit! I still remembered how to beat the game :partying_face:
Gosh, I still wish this game was longer than it is. I want to play my Arsene Lupin fantasy in Venice!
For 500 max words, it’s such a good brain teaser!~


Cage Break, by Jac Colvin

First submitted to the SeedComp!
Which I didn’t review during the event, because I’m one of the organiser and had to seem impartial - and then I forgot when the results were release… sorry!

What’s a smart, human-savvy cockatoo to do when a group of dastardly bird traffickers come to the forest?
No bars can hold you… Or can they? Make your escape, get your revenge and help the others if you can before it is too late.

I feel like we’ve been seen quite a bit of games this year where you play as an animal, so this is a nice addition to the list (someone should make a list on the IFDB, if there isn’t one already).

This is a pretty sweet and simple game: you are a bird stuck in a cage, which you want to escape. Around you, there are other birds, caged as well - some disillusioned they’ll ever be free. It was pretty funny seeing the different “prisoner” tropes (the old bird who’s been here forever, the loud one who might bring too much attention, the one who could betray you…) as birds!

Framed as some sort of a escape room (which you can solve by clicking on every option), it gives enough tension to feel the danger creeping ever so closer - and foiling the plan. Still, there is more than enough time to play all the action without getting caught.

It did make me wish for more puzzles/manipulation actions within the choices, to maybe feel a bit more “escape room”-y.
A parser version of this game could be super interesting :thinking:


~ ~ ~Into Darkness~~~, by Jac Colvin

First submitted to the EctoComp, La Petite Mort category

The game did not receive any update since I last played it. The reviews I wrote during the EctoComp still stands.
An interesting choice in using a poem-form rather than regular prose. The uneven cadence makes things uneasy and uncomfortable - as horror should!


A Meeting in the Dark, by Autumn Chen

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam

I think my review during the jam says it all :joy:
Though it is interesting as stand-alone, having played all the Pageant-related games (the official series episode, and the draft side bits) puts a lot into context. Seeing how Karen grows from her high-school time into an adult with each new game/bit reminds me a bit of BPH’s Bell Park’s series.
I’m looking forward to a new iteration of Karen + Em and friends!


ConfigurationUploader, by Autumn Chen

First submitted to the Bare-Bones Jam and EctoComp - La Petite Mort Category

I am not reopening this game, because it gave me the creeps and the death implications just… no. It is so disquieting and so freaking creepy. The implications are bone chilling.
Also: a good example of IF in a non-IF program. More of this please!


Chinese Family Dinner Moment, by Kastel

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam

There isn’t much I’d want to add from the OG review. It’s still uncomfortable (uncomfortably so in that one scene) and just makes you loath family dinner even more.
Also :joy: I had a similar dinner (lunch) during Christmas, so that was fun… very topical for me.

This was the last one for today, and I prob won’t have more time until wednesday. According to the IFDB page, I have about 20-ish entries I didn’t play - 2 of which are part of the ShuffleComp (so I’ll review them there first :stuck_out_tongue: ).

Still, it’s fun to go back and replay those games (because they are so short, it’s super nice). Thanks @Encorm and @EJoyce for pushing us down memory lane (for me at least :joy: )


Thank you, Manon!!


Thank you for the nice reviews :grinning:
(For Into darkness I wanted to give it a bit of an update particularly with regards to adding some toggles, but sadly kinda ran out of time before the comp started.)

I agree a game in the style of cage break could work well in that format. Alas, if only I were better at coding parser games! (I’ll have to add it to my todo list along with all the other todos :sweat_smile:. )


June 1998, Sydney, by Kastel

First submitted to the Neo Twiny Jam and the Anti-Romance Jam

Kastel has written a very interesting Post-Mortem for this short entry, which is a lovely addition to the game. It brought up an interesting discussion on whether context is necessary, especially in Historical Fiction.
Not knowing the full context of the story does not affect the strength of the writing - it gives out a punch and a half. But I did feel the story being extra impactful after looking up the context. It made things a bit more tragic.

Also another entry that embodies the less is more vibe.