[COMP '98] Reviews (Feel free to hate me for them...)

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Jake Wildstrom

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
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Here are my _very_ short reviews, and only of a few games. Sorry... time
crunches me.

1: "CC" 6
A lot contrived. Zarfian surrealism without Zarfian skill or subtlety. Beats
reader over the head a bit with emotions. I'm still not quite sure I get what
CC stands for. Carbon Copy? Nor the symbolism of renouncing power at the end.
I'm sure it's all got a point, but it evades me.

2: "Acid Whiplash" 5
Mildly entertaining. I expected better from Cody after ZSG, which I enjoyed
a lot. I got stuck in Denny's though, and the walkthrough doesn't work.

3: "The Plant" 8
Entertaining, if moralistic and X-filesish. The puzzles were excellently
done, if occasionally contrived. A little of the scenery was a bit of a
stretch; I couldn't find any equipment that warranted as many pipes as were
provided, nor could I find any reason for the tower full of toxic stuff.
Overall, however, the game was well thought out and well designed.

4: "I Didn't Know You Could Yodel" 2
Poorly done, overall. I praise the writer for coming up with a decent parser
(although it doesn't, for example, recognize VERBOSE), but unfortunately more
time seems to have been put into technical issues than writing. At best, it's
minimalistic, and at worst juvenile. The readme is just a little overhyped
and prepared me for a bad experience. As in other games, requiring the player
to go to the bathroom detracts from the experience (with apologies to LGOP).
That is, or at least should be, in light of _My First Stupid Game_ and
_Coming Home_, a warning that the game in question is not up to scratch. A
few more synonyms wouldn't hurt either.

5: "Purple" 6
A gripping plot, but poorly implemented. Synonyms and disambiguation need a
lot of work, and other bugs are also present. Some puzzles are highly
nonintuitive, and after Karl wakes up, it turns into what is clearly a
treasure hunt. The "dig" verb is very oddly implemented, and I needed to
consult the walkthrough to figure out its myriad syntaxes (syntaces?).

6: "Muse: An Autumn Romance" 9
Intriguing, excellent work. The use of the first person shines, and I was
impressed by the myriads of possibilities. I'm probably biased as regards
the plot, but I'm a sucker for Austinesque romance. Definitely among the
finer pieces of IF I've seen.

7: "In the Spotlight" 4
Nicely complete, if minimalistic and unnatural. Not much to say about it
otherwise, but at least it's honest about its nature as a plotless,
one-puzzle game. But it's a little too minimalistic for my tastes.

8: "Cattus Atrox" 3
Eerily minimal. The environment is nice, but it suffers from a) the lack of a
walkthrough, and b) irrational behavior. I presume part of the point was to
get Susan's assistance. I could never figure out how to phrase a request
though. Maybe I missed something. Has Rybread Celsius possessed the soul of
David Cornelson?

9: "Trapped in a One-Room Dilly" 5
Like "Spotlight", but more so. Unapologetic puzzles on more puzzles, but
pretty good puzzles. Lousy plot though.;-)

10: "The City" 7
Creepy. I give the camera a "coolest object" award. I'm still not sure I get
what happened when all was said and done, but I got a distinct sense of a
bizarre sort of closure. I can't help but think that there should be a way to
"win" though.

11: "Photopia" 4
I found this game unpleasantly linear. The plot is compelling, but there's
just not enough interactivity to make it worthwhile. The conversation system
reminded me somewhat of CYOA. I didn't have a color interpreter that worked,
so perhaps I missed out.

OK, here's where I insert my apology to the world:

I'M SORRY!

I tried to like it. Really I did. But it was just very.... linear. The plot
was great, but it wasn't backed up by anything at all as far as I'm
concerned. Can you ever forgive me?

12: "Fifteen" 4
A shameless treasure hunt, and not one I found too impressive. The crowning
puzzle of this game, the parity puzzle in the work area, had already been
covered to some extent in Spellbreaker and the Magic Toyshop.

13: "Lightiania" 3
Grammar errors are rampant, and presence of puzzles or characterization is
minimal at best. Not a tremendously well-thought-out entry, and obviously
untested.

14: "Mother Loose" 7
Amusing premise. I liked the concept of alternate, less naughty solutions,
but I never found any of them. I couldn't find any use for the wolf either,
but all in all, the game held together well.

15: "Arrival" 6
Great game, with good characterization and no visible bugs. Very funny as
well... so why didn't I rate it higher? I don't know. Probably had something
to do with the fuel tank. I could never figure that out.

+--First Church of Briantology--Order of the Holy Quaternion--+
| A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into |
| theorems. -Paul Erdos |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+
| Jake Wildstrom |
+-------------------------------------------------------------+


Rybread Celsius

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Nov 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/17/98
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> 2: "Acid Whiplash" 5
> Mildly entertaining. I expected better from Cody after ZSG, which I enjoyed
> a lot. I got stuck in Denny's though, and the walkthrough doesn't work.


Don't blame Cody, he just asked really good questions, the game parts were me.
Actually, it was Cody's idea to add me as the 2nd born in a certain scene.
Walkthru was intentional.


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