Short Game ShowCase Mini-Reviews! (Complete!)

Your World According to a Single Word, by Kastel

First submitted to The Bare-Bones Jam

Still as good as I remember it. Made me want to read more stories through “alien” eyes. Human experiences are so weird…


Buck Rockford Heads West, by J. J. Guest

First submitted to the Neo-Twiny Jam

Gosh, I really like the silly stuff. We need more silly stuff.
… How lucky is Buck to escape death at every corner and get new jobs on a whim!


You’re a Time Agent!, by Tabitha O’Connell

This was an independent release.

A silly, light-hearted puzzle game in which you play an agent trying to get through a guarded door using your ability to reset time.

Another time-loop game, with a more silly take on the genre this time. It has a killer start: You’re a dumbass time agent!! and an even funnier gameplay. Who thought trying to get through a door was this difficult!
Still, with resetting and trying another path, you get to do some silly stuff to trick the guard - learning tit bits that could help you enter the building. There are tons of funny one liners!

The UI wasn’t quite working when listing the knowledge you found through the different loops (see screenshot), but the indication of which passages were taken, especially the ones leading to a dead end, were really helpful when starting a new loop.


It was a fun time!


free bird., by Passerine

First released for the SeedComp! (and won best place!)

A minimalist hopepunk avian escape game

Another played but unreviewed Seedcomp! game
Playing it reminded me of Cage Break - reviewed just above - and You Bird. The first because both entries used the same seed as a base (Feathered Fury by Amanda), the second because of the minimalist writing in actions.

It has a pretty clever set of puzzles, differentiating interactive object and other passages in the formatting. The minimalist writing (just noun + adjective) really adds to the feel that you are a bird (or a non-human conscience), without writing off its personality. It was pretty fun interacting with the elements with the carriable objects.
Really nice!

This was the last one for today. Hopefully I have more time tomorrow :stuck_out_tongue:


Ahhhh apparently I accidentally broke that when I did my last bug fix. :sob: But now it is fixed!!

Corrected UI


The Enigma of Solaris, by jkj yuio

First released for the IFComp

Since I last played this game, it apparently received an update. After replaying it a few times, I am confused in how to achieve the alternative endings, as the game still does not really allow you alternative choices: you have to press the commander to be able to interact with the AI core, and you still have to stop the commander to act. They still seemed very similar which ever path I took? :woman_shrugging:


Magor Investigates…, by Larry Horsfield

First submitted to the IFComp

I actually played the latest version when I reviewed this game :stuck_out_tongue:

Only two entries today, hopefully more tomorrow!


Pick Up the Cookie and Sigh, by P.B. Parjeter

This was an independent release

I originally meant to announce this as an April Fool’s joke (ie. a lost Douglas Adams game that doesn’t really exist) but I ended up turning it into a straight adaptation of the story.
Adapted from Douglas Adam’s original story, but it is better if you don’t know about it before you play it.

The title made me think it was a Pick-Up the Phone Booth and Die type of joke, and I honestly had forgotten about that story until I picked up one of the cookies. Very British humour. Very short…


There is an additional postmortem — a post-postmortem, if you will, — found in the latest Indiepocalypse issue. Gotta collect ‘em all.


In a minute there is time, by Aster

First submitted to the SeedComp!

A gamified love song to J. Alfred Prufrock and T. S. Eliot. Walk through half-deserted streets and muttering retreats, listen to odd conversations, and take in the evening. You only have 60 seconds, but don’t worry— in a minute there is time for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

The entry does an interesting thing with the mechanic, limiting the playthrough to a 60 seconds - though it lets you “rewind” and try as many times as you wish. The games track which passage you visited, making it easier to find the ones you still have left.
I get why the discussions were timed, but they ended up being more frustrating to read through they they should have been because of the timer…

Though that restart may remove all that pressure from the large timer in the background ticking down the minute, it ended up stressing me out so much I found myself clicking aimlessly rather than focussing on the text itself. I had to restart the whole file (because of the tracking formatting) and “hide” the timer from the screen to actually take in the story. The “game” would still end after a minute, making it a bit more sudden, but I wasn’t anxiously counting down the seconds…

The story itself is not so much narratively driven but a more exploration or snippets from a third-party perspective. You don’t really do anything but look at what is around you, happening regardless of you. A bit of a voyeuristic take, wishing you’d be part of the world you are looking at, but still being incredibly distant from it.

It was an interesting experience.


Scale, by lavieenmeow

First submitted to the Neo Twiny Jam

Still as cute and stressless as I remembered. Pretty nice to play it after the previous entry! Very relaxing :joy:
Kinda wished I was a fish now…


Demon Hatching, by Mxelm

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam

Since I played it last, the UI has changed a bit with a more tamed wine palette, reminiscent of blood, flesh, or skin. It is both easier to the eye and thematic :joy:
It was nice to re-read it again!


Conduit of the Crypt, by Grim Baccaris

First submitted to the Neo Twiny Jam

The game hasn’t changed since I last played it. Still pretty fun to go through the different options, restarting again and again to see the different sprites. A very low-stakes fun entry!


Confectioner’s Atelier, by Grim Baccaris

First submitted to the inkJam

My review for the entry on the Forum is like a sentence long, so I’ll put the IFDB one:

This was such a fun and quick treat. A very cozy game where you gather around ingredients to create treats for customers. The gameplay is quite simple (go somewhere, get stuff, maybe barter for other stuff), and you can’t lose either. The UI is also quite polished with fun graphics, reminiscing of pixel RPGs.

One of my favourite entry of the inkJam.

The entry is so adorable, and like Conduit of the Crypt pretty low-stakes too. Cozy games are the absolute best, they make you feel so warm inside. And it was such a pretty entry!


Robbery Reverie, by Natasha Luna

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam

Less cozy than the previous one, but a fun one nonetheless. Full of humour, a wide branching story with multiple endings. Very fun to replay and pretend to be the worst robber of all time.
I still stand by the order of bottom-to-top when picking your choices for maximum hilariousness!


At the Poison’s Edge, by Natasha Luna

First submitted to the Single Choice Jam and O2A2

IMO not as satisfying as the previous entry, taking more a dramatic approach to the one choice. It does go all in with the DRAMA.
There is a lot of unsaid with the writing, leaving you to fill in the gaps as to the whys and the hows. The audio-visual aspects of the game were still very lovely.


So You Have a Knife at Your Throat, by Natasha Luna

First submitted to the Neo Twiny Jam

This bite-sized thriller still packs as much of a punch as I remembered. The tension can be cut with a knife! (hehe, sorry)


500 Word Hotel Escape, by Kobato Games

First submitted to the Neo Twiny Jam

A cute little escape room with simple puzzles. Pretty neat considering the short word count!


After the Accident, by Amanda Walker

First submitted to the SeedComp!

Relationships can be disastrous.

Holy moley, what a game! Grabbed me by the throat and would not let me go…
I was at a loss for words for a long time when I reached the end.

Based on After the Accident, a poem by Sophia de Augustine, the story flips between the present, where excruciating pain and confusion overwhelms you, and snippets of memories, walking down a bittersweet memory lane. Showing that love is complex and relationships are complicated.

The mirrors between the present and the past, and the different snippets themselves, each adding details to what has come to be, bring powerful imageries and strong reactions towards the story and the characters. The deeper you go in the story, the more heartbreaking it becomes. But there is little you can do to change things. You know how it ends anyway. It is inevitable. By the end, I felt like a wreck, feelings in shambles.

There was an interesting aspect in the incredible writing: the function of mundane objects to convey the state of things. The car is a wreck like the PC’s relationship. The offered gift feels soft, giving you a warm lovely embrace, but still smells of the fight for the PC. Bread-making is used as a (re-)bonding moment, but drips of milk outside of the bowl breaks the hope of a good reconciliation. A meaningful portrait at the start of the relationship especially points out the PC’s physical flaws, like a hint of what is come in the following months.

It is incredible powerful, raw descriptions of reality, painful depictions of love and hurt.
Moving to the core.


Fix Your Mother’s Printer, by Geoffrey Golden

First submitted to the IFComp

Still delightful, still slightly triggering (the passive-agressive bits) for me.
A really nice slice of mundane life.