Friday, November 11, 2011

IF Comp 2011

Here are a few short reviews for the IFcomp games I've played this far. Some mild spoilers may be present.


This game was an interesting premise to me. In it you actually play a blind person. While I myself am not blind, I did have an eye injury some years back that left me temporarily blinded for a few days. During those few days I learned to do quite a few things differently to compensate. I wondered if that painful experience would come in handy playing this. Also, I do hope to read a review by someone who has played this game who has been blind all or most of their life. I would be interested in that perspective of their experience playing it.

Sometimes I'm allowed to 'look' at some objects though, which tells me that looking wasn't completely eliminated (but probably is useless). Then I find that using 'f' does not always print all of the room contents, so I turn on verbose mode. Also, 'look' and 'f' produces different texts, which is kind of confusing. I think the author should have done a bit more to remove any references to sight. Right off the bat my movement and progress is very constricted. I needed a couple of hints at the beginning of the game to get out of the first room.

Bah, I think I'm stuck again. A hint tells me to set up a trap basically, though I don't have any real strategic reason for doing this yet in my mind unless I'm going to camp out in this room.  As far as puzzles go, I'm more of a "let's just play around until I have to deal with something" kind of player. Doing another feel around the room once the trap is set returns a strange bit of text. I don't think something should seem to be somewhere if I actually put it there myself.

This game has a lot of items (and benches in one room). There are also has inventory limits. I came across quite a few scenery things noted in the room summaries that should have produced some sort of text. However, I was able to look past these flaws because I found the setting to be interesting. In the garage, if you type "open door" there is no "garage" option, while "open garage door" returns that the door is locked.

This game apparently has many endings. I think I probably saw the weakest one. Hmm. Now I am interested in playing this game again with no hints, though I don't think I'll get around to that until there's a new version.



"A game of postapocalyptic relaxation" it's called. Sounds like Fallout. The first screen has a difficulty setting. I chose normal. I started out in a run-down supermarket, checking things out while scavenging a few items. My first mission is to find someone, anyone to talk to. After figuring out how to break out of my refuge, I set out into the world. Exits all seem to be clearly marked thus far.

My exploration stroll didn't last long. Soon a pack of dogs was stalking me. I tried to hit the dogs with a pole I found laying around, but somehow the pole "bounces of the pack of dogs" so I had to restore and find a different solution. After restoring, I do my best to avoid the dogs because I'm still unsure how to deal with them. Of course, eventually they find me. I eat something to reduce my stress level a bit.. but the growling dogs increase my stress to the limit. Game over again. This game could probably benefit from either a numerical amount of your current stress level to be added to the status bar, or some sort of graphical meter. The "mood" label isn't informative enough to me. Please include more understanding for your nouns as well.

Then I find a way to deal with the dogs, but only temporarily. I get stressed out again and lose. I'm a little annoyed now. For now I'm putting this aside, and will save a rating for if and when I complete it.



After a short introduction, the game starts quickly. The first few puzzles were easy yet fun to solve. Then, I get to a series of of puzzles. The short one isn't too bad. Then I get to the medium one. The error sound drives me nuts as I move the O around a few times, and I give up on this one too.



Honestly, I was hoping this game took place in Santa Land theme park. Some of my family has been there a few times, though I have never been. I've only seen the pictures. At any rate, I did like the general premise and plot of the game. The environment was pretty well fleshed out. The only thing was that I just couldn't really get into the puzzles, so I resorted to the walkthrough. Perhaps I'll return to this game when the Christmas theme of the puzzles interests me more one holiday season.



Argh, give me some exits listings here. Don't just make me try random moves to see if I will advance. The story seems ok so far, even if it moves along a bit too quickly. I run into an NPC with a suspicious name, "greengrocer". I guess the author doesn't know the printed name trick yet.  I attempt to talk to him, and I'm told that "I don't need to converse in this story." That's kind of a let-down. Just when I don't know what to do, a "wait" followed by a "look" advances the story. It's hard to get too peeved about that sort of pacing issue when previous versions of my own first game suffered from extremely bad pacing. Short game and I didn't care for the puzzles.



I'm moving along looking for something, when I find something else. Everything important in the game with some importance can be read about in a book of fairy tales that you carry along with you. Not a lot of "guess the verb" stuff happening here. This game was very short and there really isn't a lot to it. I easily completed it in about 20 minutes without a walk-through. That being said, there's not a lot wrong with it either.



Writing style seems a little odd. I'm forced to use the names of the parts of the ship to move around instead of compass directions. After playing about ten minutes I think I have a pretty good idea of what my first task will be. Nothing I try seems to get anything done, so I turn to the walk-through only to find that it isn't a walk-through at all. It's the full text of his source. Immediately quit playing.



This web-based game was easy to get into despite it's weird and random environment. I'm not sure how I feel about the interaction system, as it feels like I'm just clicking on random hyperlinks without putting a lot of thought into things to keep the story moving along. However, I find quick that there is just a little more to it. If I just randomly click things, the story ends up looping around and repeating. I end up looking at the hints after a while and a couple of the required actions to make the game progress have me scratching my head as to why the player would even think to do something.

Couldn't finish this either. Even following the hints. I think a major drawback to this game is the very strict time constraint.