Some Ectocomp reviews (first French, then spanish, then english)

I plan on doing reviews for all the Ectocomp games on this thread. The French and Spanish ones are smaller and have a shorter judging window, so I’m reviewing them first.

I downloaded Fragment d’Une Vie, but passed on it when it began with things like ‘I realized I was attracted to minors at a young age’ and has trigger warnings for similar material.


Une Histoire by Dunin

This was a fun Petite Mort game in the French Ectocomp competition (Petite Mort here meaning a game completed in 4 hours or less, quite different than its usual meaning).

This is remarkably polished for such a quickly-made game, but I think that’s due to its well-chosen scope. You’re in a room with just a few objects, and you have to hurriedly think of inspiration for a story. Every time you look at something, you improvise part of the story based on that object.

Each object provides a different story for each section (except maybe the very last one?), so, as it claims, there are 1024 possible stories, although there are only 20 or so distinct pieces of text to read. Still, it’s fun, and includes an intro story based on an Arno Schmidt story.


I hope there will be soon some games written in bantu 0_o
You play all the games in all the languages!
Congratulations to you.

  • Jade.
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I wouldn’t mind a chance to practice my Swahili…


Une soirée costumée by smwhr

This is an amusing/frightening story written for the French Ectocomp competition in 4 hours or less.

It’s an Ink game where you go trick or treating, and I actually found it more fun on replays to see where the ‘tricks’ are. You have to get a costume, meet up with friends, and choose what order to visit different houses. It’s fairly short and simple, but has some strong characterization.

The writing is, as far as I can tell as a non-native speaker, slightly child-like, with run-on sentences and a carefree attitude.

I played three times, because each time I reached what I’d consider a bad ending. I think a good ending exists, but I haven’t been able to find it; if anyone gets there, let me know how!


I don’t think the costume matters at all.
You need to arrive at the witch’s house with Thaïs holding the scissors so she can escape from the bag. I think she leaves if she doesn’t get a bucket so do that first.
If there is more than one remaining house after getting the scissors she’ll skip the following house to drop them off at home so visit the principal second.
Then the cloth shop to get the scissors and finally the witch.
I think there’s a bug where the text says we all ran away safely but the next paragraph implies that Thaïs has disappeared nonetheless (or maybe she really did move?).


(There’s a bad condition indeed in there, I’ll fix it as soon as I’m back from vacations and in front of a computer… But all in all, you got the correct solution, congrats !)


Thanks! I’m going to try it again later, I really appreciate your help!

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La Petite Mort, by Manonamora

This French game written in 4 hours has quite a bit of material. You, a young girl, are excited to go out and assist your grandmother, who is quite old and maybe a witch?

She has the strange ability to speak only in capital letters. She leaves you a note with chores you have to do, mostly feeding cute or spooky animals.

Overall, I thought it was well-written and looked nice. There was at least one bug that made it a bit hard; when I tried to dry my cloak, if I left, I couldn’t come back to the laundry, even if I hadn’t finished the other activities there. Some other bugs were fixed by an update in the middle of the day, I think, so this one might get fixed later.

The grandma is a neat character, very intriguing. And the UI is beautiful.


Torch et Sors by Khu Bone

This entry in the Petite Mort portion of the French Ectocomp speed-IF is simultaneously perhaps the most ambitious of the games I’ve played so far but also the one with the most problems.

It is a parser game, and you wake up in the bathroom wrapped up in something. Weird objects lie around the room, and you have to find a way out.

I thought it was descriptive and had a compelling idea, but I don’t think the author had enough time to finish much of the game. Lots of objects have no description or just don’t exist in the room. I looked at the code, too, which was really interesting.

In the end, I guessed half of the solution to the main puzzle but had to get help with the second half. None of the mysteries really get resolved. Overall, I think this is a good game for 4 hours of work, but would need more hours to get all the way great.

This is the last of the french games I’m trying (they were all pretty great, actually!) so onto the Spanish!


Thank you for the review!
That bug has indeed been fixed. :smiley:
The grandma’s true nature is hinted throughout the game and in the title.

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Oh that actually makes sense! Is it influenced by Terry Pratchett?

I’ll update my IFDB review to say the bugs were fixed.

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Yes it was! I have been on a Pratchett reading spree since this summer :stuck_out_tongue:


El Virulé by paravaariar

This game is fairly complex and its a good chance I didn’t understand it completely. It involved quite a bit of folklore and older time things that were hard to translate (and copy and paste doesn’t seem to work for google translate), and it is written in a dialect that drops the ‘d’ at the end of words (like tablao for tablado), which was a bit tricky for me. It’s written in Adventuron, and is actually a well-implemented example of the engine.

You play as a man in a Romani family whose name I couldn’t quite understand (I think it means something like the evil eye?). The game is divided into two sections; the first involves obstacles in the path of a wagon trip, and involves both conversation and some standard fetch quests.

The second part is a loop where you sing or play guitar for money in a cafe, each time receiving feedback on how to improve. I started off with horrible music but eventually got much better. That unlocks some ending scenes that are quite shocking and weird at first, but, upon reading the beginning quotes of the game again, seem to represent a kind of catharsis. I got kind of stuck on this second half of the game, to be honest.

Overall, this game is incomplete, according to the author, but I found it complex and descriptive. I appreciated the manual and the suggestions at the bottom of each page.

I debated for a long time between 3 stars and 4 stars, but I’d rather be nice if I can’t decide so I’m going with 4.


The PC’s nickname alludes to a black eye (the kind one gets when punched). The story was told in the game I think.

The writing on this game is top notch, very poetic and representative of flamenco culture (probably quite challenging to translate as well!)


That makes sense, there was a lot I didn’t understand due to the figurative language. I would love to see a review by a native speaker, it would be nice to get some more nuances!


Tratamiento Mortal by ivsaez

This is the second entry in one of the weirdest series of IF games I’ve ever played.

Last year I played the first game, Fiesta Mortal, which was a bizarre kind of visual novel that used Sims-like 3d models with pre-Toy Story quality and a horrifying uncanny-valley look. There was a bunch of navigation and inventory trying to stop Steisy, the popular girl, from murdering everyone and you.

This game takes everything from the first game and amps it up. Steisy, now a psychiatric ward patient, looks horrifying with an immense grin and shaved head to support the Free Brittney moment (which she later finds out has already succeeded before she shaved her head).

Her brother, Marlon (I think, I can’t remember), when he isn’t busy spying on his 50-year old female neighbor with a telescope, wants to visit her to triumph over her. In the meantime, Steisy has to put up with rectal inspections by angry nurse Latoya and meetings with her cellmate and doctor.

Every Spanish swear word I ever learned is used a lot, as well as a few more I had to look up. The characters are oversized stereotypes and parodies, like the flat-earther who derails the game for an intense argument about how Nazis are building bases under the earth and made the south pole as a giant wall around the earth to hide the true mega-continent that lies on the edges.

Overall, the game is inappropriate or crass or over-stylized in many ways, but that is its style, and it kind of works, to be honest. It’s like watching Trolls 2 or other B-movies. I think I would have backed out if it were in English due to weird content like severed PS1-style heads, but the language barrier helped provide a buffer between me and content. Wild experience.


Halloween by baltasarq

This game was interesting. I thought it was Twine, but it seems like a custom engine made by the author on github. It has regular links but includes a row of buttons for common actions like dropping, pushing, attacking, opening, etc.

The game has a world model with several locations and items and NPCs in them. You start with a dramatic opening: a note to yourself saying that you must kill Rodrigo.

The story is interesting and is based on a scene from a movie that left a deep impression on the author, but I wonder if it isn’t a perfect fit for the UI here. I had trouble figuring out how to use a bank card to pay for food, for instance; do I click on the card itself? Open the card? Attack the card? Similarly, there were a lot of background red-herring items that had no real story use.

I felt like the story got progressively creepier, and the ending was impactful (literally).


La escalera de la bruja by binary-sequence

I was very excited by the beginning of this game but soon found that it was fairly unfinished.

The opening is very mysterious: you and your wife arrive at a house. Your wife has a bruise–is it from you, or someone else? You enter a house with 5 rooms, greeted by an old woman with dark secrets. That night, you have a terrible dream…

All of this is great. But much is left to be done. Conversation doesn’t work (TALK TO, ASK ABOUT, direct speech, etc. in Spanish), and many items are not implemented. One of the few things that is implemented is an inventory limit of just two items.

The game has so many cool ideas, I would like to see it more developed. It stopped right at a very cool part! But for now I think it just needs more work to flesh it out more.


Siluetas by fran_kane

This game was complex and difficult to understand at first. It’s a binksi game, similar to bitsy (the game system with minimal sprites, color schemes and animations), but mixed with Ink, the scripting language.

In this Spanish Ectocomp game, you wind up driving to a small village that still has people using donkeys and children play strange games with silhouettes and with a fountain in the town.

The game has several shifts in perspective that I didn’t fully understand, which I can mostly attribute to my own poor understanding but also seems to be a mechanic designed to mirror the protagonist’s own troubled mental state.

I definitely found the imagery in the game disturbing and frightening, but only from a psychological viewpoint; there is little to no gore and no jumpscares or anything. I think it is effective at being frightening. Like the author says in the description, it can be easy to miss things; I missed a lot of things on the first try and had to replay. Fun, short, and easy to play.