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Jonathan Blask

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Nov 17, 2000, 3:00:00 AM11/17/00
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Ok, so I'm basically a lurker on r*if, and the one game I've been
able to muster up was a muddled mess of bugs, unimplemented objects, poor
game design, and questionable humor. Despite this, I feel compelled to
throw out my thoughts on some of this year's comp games.
First, though, I guess I'll throw in my general feelings about the
comp, as others have done. Overall, I think it was a fair year. The
majority of the games don't offend me to the point that I can't sleep, but
still, few of the games tapped into what makes me excited to play IF. I
do think that I'll come to appreciate some of the games over time, as some
that I wrote off pretty quickly (like Void: Corporation) seem to be
gathering enthusiastic responses. Btw, I only voted on games that I felt
I had given a fair chance.
Some of these reviews are kind of snarky. Really, I don't mean to
offend anyone, and I apologize if I do.
So, off to the comments...

Little Billy- 2
Not very interactive. The story is decent but not very realistic.
Overall, I didn't like the game so I KNIFED it!

Shade- 7
I didn't want to like this game. I thought the premise and
environment were too boring, and worse yet, the game had a lot of features
that I wanted to use in a game some day. I also thought it was too
in-jokey. Despite all this, though, the game gets a lot of points for
weirdness. The part where the PC embraces his insanity is fantastic.

Futz Mutz- 4
I really wish there weren't any more games in which you're a dog
or cat. Also, personal attacks aren't very nice.

Threading the Labyrinth- 3
Okay, what it comes down to is that I can't really think of this
game as anything but an unintentional rip of Space Beneath the Window.
The prose seems decent, but it's really not my kind of thing.

Comp00ter Game- 6
I thought this game was hilarious. I think people that are
familiar with Jeffk (http://www.somethingawful.com/jeffk) are more likely
to agree with that, although I'm not sure if it was an intentional parody
of Jeffk or the net denizen that Jeffk represents. I did think that
making the game unwinnable stretched the joke a bit too far, though. Kind
of anticlimatic.

Asendant- 3
It just didn't speak to me, man.

Rameses- 5
On one hand, it's implemented well-enough. On the other, the
whole thing has the same sort of awkward 'a moment of hope' kind of feel
to it, and I liked it the first time, just not this time around. If
wading through unpleasant adolescent experiences becomes a popular genre,
I'm going to be rather saddened. Also, I thought the whole beginning
thing and the PC's longing for his old friend to be reminiscent of the
movie "The Butcher Boy," but in a bad way. Last of all, being stuck with
a bunch of stereotypical boarding school guys made me feel like I was
trapped in a bad 80s movie.

Escape From Crulistan- 4
You have to love a game that says it is ridiculously easy when you
plea for help.

Big Mama- 5
What it comes down to is it felt like a 'sunset over savanah' for
teens, which just doesn't come across as that innovative, and man, did
that 'big mama' thing get annoying. Still, it seems sincere and
competent.

Punk Points- 10
I don't really know how to describe my attitude towards this game.
Yeah, things aren't as implemented as much as I'd like, especially when it
comes to NPCs like Mr. Podge or whatever. I also made the mistake of
thinking that the zine in the game offered unnecessary information to fill
me in on punk culture when I was feeling curious, so I was stuck at a
couple parts for quite a while.
Still, this game represents what I love about IF. I loved the
writing, the pace, and the jokes. I loved that there were ways to avoid
doing things that the player might not enjoy, like drinking or smoking to
impress your peers (even though I never would've thought of the alternate
solution to the smoking part still, I thought the alternate solution
kicked ass). I couldn't help but tell my friends of all of the great
things that happen in this game, even though I was ruining the game in
case they ever wanted to play it. After being stuck in the second and
third acts for quite awhile, playing through the part in which Stu starts
calling you 'hardcore niner' in the beginning almost gave me shivers. It
just seemed like perfect character development to me. Like a lot of my
favorite IF games, it has an almost cinematic feel to it.
I think this game would make a kickass movie, and while that won't
happen, I highly encourage the author to polish the game up a bit more so
that players have less of a chance of giving up. Also, make some more
games, goddammit. I want to have, like, 10,000 of your babies.

-jon (aka Roody Yogurt)
"If I got stranded on a desert island (with electricity)/
And I could bring one record and my hi-fi/
I'd bring that ocean surf cd (Relaxing Sound of Ocean Surf)/
So I could enjoy the irony." - Dylan Hicks

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