Spike's IFComp 2021 Reviews

In which I post links to reviews of IFComp 2021 games.

I’m anticipating having less time for playing than I did during IFComp last year, but we shall see. I should at least be able to beat the two reviews I managed for ParserComp a few months ago. :slight_smile:

List of games reviewed:

  1. Grandma Bethlinda’s Remarkable Egg
  2. The Song of the Mockingbird
  3. Smart Theory
  4. The Best Man
  5. AardVarK Versus the Hype
  6. 4x4 Archipelago
  7. Brave Bear
  8. Kidney Kwest
  9. Sting
  10. The Libonotus Cup

Here we go…

Grandma Bethlinda’s Remarkable Egg

10 Likes

The Song of the Mockingbird, a Western with attention to historical detail and strong puzzles.

6 Likes

Thanks very much for your review! Glad you liked it.

1 Like

For what it’s worth, after playing your game I’ve had “The Yellow Rose of Texas” running around in my head for the past 24 hours. It’s quite the earworm. :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Smart Theory, a short satire.

4 Likes

The Best Man, another well-done character study by Stephen Bond.

4 Likes

AardVarK Versus the Hype, a science fiction comedy featuring an alt-rock band and a zombie-like apocalypse.

4 Likes

4x4 Archipelago, a fantasy RPG with hours of potential gameplay.

3 Likes

Nice review! It’s funny to see all the possibilities…I never tamed anything, had a main quest to assemble 4 parts of a pirate map, never saw a fire serpent, and played as a Swashbuckler.

3 Likes

That’s a lot of what makes the game so fun - the sheer variety of things to do!

2 Likes

Yeah, thirding all of the above – I had the other main quest (finding the Heavenly Spire) and had a magic-and-trading focused PC who I suspect played very differently from the two y’all had. Definitely coming back to this one once the Comp wraps up!

2 Likes

Brave Bear, a cute parser game starring a stuffed bear.

4 Likes

Kidney Kwest, a parser-based educational game aimed at child kidney patients.

2 Likes

Sting, a memoir about bees and a sister.

5 Likes

Thanks so much for the review, Mike! It’s really gratifying to see some of the key themes I was playing with come through, and the feedback on which pieces resonated more strongly with you and which didn’t is helpful too. I think your other critiques make a lot of sense too – there’s some stuff here I’ll probably reflect on in some post-Comp notes. Cheers!

P.S. for the parser issues you mention, any chance you saved a transcript? If not no worries, but I’m hoping to get a post-Comp release out so that would be helpful to look at!

1 Like

Unfortunately, I didn’t save a transcript. (I should probably start doing that.) What I remember is…

In the first episode, I tried playing lots of children’s games with Liz. The game did understand several of them, but there were also several that it didn’t. (I probably spent too much time testing the boundaries of the game there, but it was interesting to see what I could do with Liz.)

In the second episode, I struggled with some of the sailing terms. The game is good about having Liz tell you what you should do, but sometimes I would need to do something with, say, the pole, and take a few turns to hit on the right verb. I have little experience with sailing and so couldn’t fill in anything command-wise that the game didn’t spoon-feed me.

I think there were a few other one-off places, too, but that’s where the transcript I didn’t save would have been helpful.

1 Like

The Libonotus Cup, a puzzle, racing, and optimization game all rolled into one.

6 Likes