For me, it was The Initial State. It was the 14th on my list by score (my list being only half the eligible games anyway) and 28th in the competition, but it’s one I still really enjoyed. I think the low score is more for the crudeness of the custom engine (not so much that it is a custom engine), and the bugs/problems in the code. The writing is strained at times, but I really got into the exploration and the story. I suppose my review explains it best
None of them, which is very unusual for me. Several times in the past, my favourite game of the comp (or games I’ve rated very highly) have come a long way down the listings, but this year I can safely say that all of the games that came to 21-43 that I played, I disliked.
None that were really unpopular. I liked The Tower of the Elephant (15th) and Labyrinth (18th). I’m a logic-puzzle-aholic, so I had a lot of fun with Labyrinth, but I’d be the first to admit it isn’t exactly interactive fiction. In fact, it might have been more fun without the attempt at a plot. It definitely would not have suffered from losing that convoluted cipher. (I’m so glad to find I’m not the only person who, when told “it’s a keyword cipher”, went, “Huh?”)
As for Tower of the Elephant, it wasn’t as well implemented as it might have been, but I think there’s a lot of potential there. I’d love to see it tidied up and re-released. (Bear in mind, however, that this was one of the first comp games I played, so I was still in the sunny land of Comp Optimism.)
None really. The closest I can give is Pathfinder. While I didn’t like the game as it was (it’s one of the four games I didn’t finish), I thought the core ideas had possibilities, and it could be rewritten to a decent game.
I liked GP! which only came in at 11. I know it wasn’t an amazing game or anything with a huge original plot or brilliantly designed puzzles, but it was very pleasant to play.
Yeah, it was pretty fun. I don’t think I saw the bugs that some reported, and I thought of “use” right away (which was also a complaint – maybe it’s because I’d played The Initial State earlier, where “use” is mandatory).
Meh. It’s always sad when the IF Comp ends.
I wish I had been around the first couple of years.
I didn’t even know it existed till 2002.