The Interactive Fiction Competition has many entries this year. Here are short reviews of those I've been able to play so far. You still have until November 15th to play and vote on games if you are interested.
*** A CASTLE OF THREAD ***
By Marshal Tenner Winter
A lot of games that involve “ships” whether they be in the sea or outer space have always confused me a bit as far as map layout versus the area I’m picturing in my head. This was kind of the case for me in this game too, but not as bad as others. I’m not sure how difficult of a time I would have solving some of these puzzles without a walkthrough because some of them seem kind of abstract. The 2nd part of the game you are off the ship and in a city called
“Badushizd” where you’ll find a humorously-named inn. It went by pretty
fast for me in contrast with the 1st part. Pretty cool game overall. Some technical issues and a few nags here and there. The pacing of the last part and ending of the game seemed appropriate.
*** GRUE ***
BY CHARLES MANGIN
Short game. Cool concept of being able to play from the perspective of a grue from the Zork series, but there just isn’t much to it. I was not able to finish the game; I think perhaps I didn’t get a timing puzzle right or something. Glancing at the walkthrough, there’s not much to the ending either.
*** INEVITABLE ***
By Matthew Pfeiffer
I start in a crappy apartment. Apparently I’m a mad scientist. The game calls itself a 1-room escape game. There is no walkthrough and I couldn’t figure out how to escape the apartment.
*** MOON BASE ***
By Andrew Brown
A short, creepy web game. I don’t think I reached the best ending, but seeing the consequences of apparently bad choices as a result was satisfying. Web games that seem to just go around in circles to reach only 1 or at the most 2 endings always seem to fail to keep me engaged or care to replay the game again. I would give this game another play if I wasn’t in the middle of all of these entries at the moment.
*** QUEER IN PUBLIC: A BRIEF ESSAY ***
By Naomi Norbez
This is more of an “interactive essay” than “interactive fiction”. It's not a game at all. I don’t identify myself as Christian or queer, (the 2 main elements being compared in this entry) so this really didn’t hit any nerve with me one way or the other. The conclusion is basically a “The Jesus I know is a cool dude that isn’t mean to people.” theme.
*** The Richard Mines ***
By Evan Wright
A parser game in which you need to search through some old tunnels and make your escape. Short room descriptions. Short game for that matter. Fairly easy puzzles. Not a lot of story here, but not a lot to complain about either.
*** A Walk In The Park ***
By Extra Mayonaise
In this parser game you play a punk wandering around a city. It had a couple of lines that made me chuckle, and the setting was nicely put together. However, I got stuck trying to follow the tutorial at the step where I should “say uhh”. Uhh…
*** Will Not Let Me Go ***
By Stephen Granade
Another web game. Here you are an old man dealing with alzheimer’s. This is another one where I don’t feel like I have any real choice here but to just keep clicking links to keep the story chugging along. What makes up for it though was it actually was a good story. I think it could have been a bit shorter though and still got the same effect across.